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THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.
* THOMAS M. COOLEY, of Michigan, Chairman.
WILLIAM R. MORRISON, of Illinois.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.
OFFICE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION,
Washington, D. C., December 1, 1891. To the Senate and the House of Representatives:
The Interstate Commerce Commission respectfully submits its fifth annual report of information and data collected and considered of value in the determination of questions connected with the regulation of commerce. Recommendations and suggestions as to additional legislation are made in connection with the subjects to which they relate. The names and compensation of the persons employed by the Commission, with the appropriations and expenditures for the past year, will be found in the appendix (A) to this report.
In the third annual report the Commission presented a summary of its force, its organization into administrative divisions “for the systematic and efficient performance of its duties,” enumerating the duties of the several divisions, and showing the distribution of the office work. Results having, in the main, justified this method of organization and distribution, it has been continued with little change. The detail work as set forth in its third annual report has continued with increasing volume since that report was made, but efficiency resulting from experience enabled the office in the last year to deal with a constantly increasing volume of business without augmenting its force.
The work of the statistical division enables the Commission to make a complete exhibit of the condition of railways in the United States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890, and includes a compilation of monthly returns of railway income and expenditure for the nine months ending March 31, 1891, thus constituting a report of the operation of railways for a period of twenty-one consecutive months.
The statistics are classified into ten districts or territorial groups. The necessity for this classification into groups shown by the map facing the title page of this report arose from the great diversity in the conditions under which railways are operated in various parts of the country. The following table taken from the report shows how various are these conditions:
COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF TEMS, „Y GROUPS.
The railway mileage of the United States for the year ending June 30, 1890, was 163,597.05 miles, and the increase in railway mileage brought into operation was 5,838.22. The total length of track, including all tracks, sidings and spurs, was 208,612.55 miles. The largest increase in operated mileage is to be found in Group V; that is to say, in the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. These States show an increase in operated mileage of 1,370.32 miles during the year.
The number of railway corporations on June 30, 1890, was 1,797. Of these 87 are classed as private roads, the total operated mileage of which is 812 miles, and 48 are roads not in operation. Of the 1,710 corporations doing a public business, 927 are operating companies and 735 are companies whose line is leased to other companies for the purpose of operation. Twenty-two companies, representing a mileage of 1,646.10 miles, have been reorganized during the year; 34, representing a mileage of 1,905.87 miles, have merged their corporate existence into other corporations, and 50 companies, representing a mileage of 6,196.04, have been consolidated with other companies. Thus, 84 companies, representing a total mileage of 8,101.91 miles of line, have disappeared during the year as independent companies.
A classification of railways, according to the gross revenue, shows that 75 companies realize a gross income of $846,888,000, which is equal to about 80 per cent of the total income received by all the railways of the United States. Classification, according to length of line operated, shows that 40 corporations operated 77,872.63 miles of line, which is equivalent to 47.51 per cent of the total mileage in the United States.
The total number of locomotives in the United States is 29,928, of which 8,384 are passenger locomotives and 16,140 are freight locomotives. This shows 5 passenger locomotives and 10 freight locomotives for each 100 miles of operated line. The number of cars used by the railways of the United States is 1,164,188, of which 26,511 are in the passenger service.
The number of cars per 100 miles of line is 744. The average number of tons of freight carried 1 mile per freight engine is 4,721,626 and the average number of passengers carried 1 mile per passenger engine is 1,413,142. A larger proportion of equipment is to be found in the Middle and New England States than in other parts of the country; thus, in the New England States, Group I, there are 28 locomotives per 100 miles of line; in the Middle States, Group II, 46 locomotives per 100 miles of line, while in the States west of the Mississippi the number does not exceed 15 locomotives per 100 miles of line. The number of locomotives fitted with train brake is 20,162; the number fitted with automatic couplers is 955. The number of cars fitted with train brake is 128,241; the number fitted with automatic couplers is 114,364. The increase in the number of train brakes on locomotives during the year was 2,167, while the increase in the number of automatic couplers on locomotives during the year was 733. When it is noticed that the total increase in the number of locomotives during the year was 892, these figures disclose a satisfactory tendency toward a more general use of safety appliances on locomotives. The increase in the number of train brakes on cars during the year was 18,077, and the increase in the number of automatic couplers on cars was 33,854. The total increase in cars, however, during the same period was 95,633, from which it appears that by far the larger proportion of new cars built were not furnished with the safety appliances in question. These facts are pertinent when taken in connection with the statistics of railway accidents.
The total number of men employed on railways during the year was 749,301, being an increase of 44,558 over the number employed during the year ending June 30, 1889. The average number of men employed per 100 miles of line on all roads in the United States is 479. In New England, Group I, the average number per 100 miles of line is 716; in the Middle States, Group II, the number per 100 miles of line is 1,167; in the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and part of West Virginia, Group IV, it is 379; in various sections of the Western States the number ranges from 250 to 359. These figures indicate a higher density of traffic in the Eastern and Middle States than in other parts of the country.
The number of miles of line forming the basis of these statistics is 156,404.06. This mileage is represented by railway capital to the amount of $9,437,353,372 or $60,340, per mile of line. Assuming that the mileage for which no reports pertaining to capital have been received is capitalized at the same rate, the total capitalization of railways in the United States would be $9,871,378,389. The greatest difference may be observed in the capitalization of railways in various parts of the country. Thus, New England railways are capitalized at $50,834 per mile of line; the railways in the Middle States at the rate of $117,902 per mile of line; the railways of the two Southern groups of States, that is, Groups IV and V, at the rate of $47,434 and $46,775 per mile of line respectively; the railways lying west of the Missouri and of the Lower Mississippi rivers are capitalized at about $50,000 per mile of line, with the exception of the States bordering on the Pacific, which are capitalized at $87,104 per mile of line.
An instructive comparison with the actual capitalization of railways is permitted by the table in the report showing the valuation of railway property computed on the basis of the amount of money which the property has actually earned for its owners during the year ending June 30, 1890. If interest payments, and final net earnings available for dividends be capitalized at 5 per cent, it appears that, regarded as a 5 per cent investment, the value of railway property in the United States, judged from the operations of the year ending June 30, 1890, was $6,627,461,140, which is equivalent to $42,374 per mile of line. In the New England States, Group I, the value of railway property, considered as an investment, exceeds its capitalization, it being $57,867 per mile of line; in the Middle States, Group II, the value of railway property is $109,741 per mile of line, a sum slightly less than the actual capitalization; in all other parts of the country the valuation of railway property on the basis of actual earnings falls below the actual capitalization. In Group X, for example, where the capitalization is $87,104 per mile of line, the valuation is but $22,672 per mile of line.
The total amount of stock issued on railways in the United States is $4,409,658,485, of which $2,811,526,552, or 63.76 per cent paid no dividend. In the New England States 24.58 per cent of stock paid no divi