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the charge, that the opening of the bridge is only eight hundred feet, while eighteen hundred feet is required for the passage of the water; that the length of the Plattsmouth bridge, from pier No. 1, on the bluff shore, to pier 5, the first pile foundation is 1,213.5 feet, giving a water way, after deducting twenty feet for each pier, of 1,133.5 feet. The bridge at St. Joseph has a water way of 1,144 feet; that at Atchison, of 1,014 feet; that at Leavenworth, 900 feet; that at Kansas City, of 1,162.

This statement was made to show that the channel left by the structure was sufficient to pass the volume of water at this place. The two long spans crossing the river channel are 804 feet long; the three shorter spans are 612 feet; the iron trestles are 1,320 feet in length. As we are advised, the 804 feet covers the water way in ordinary stages. The 612 feet furnishes water way when the river is high, and the 3,000 feet of trestle is located on a bank of sand drift as high or higher than the high water of 1884. This latter is not expected to act as a water way except in extreme floods, and stone has been thrown around the base of these trestles to prevent undermining. If we are right in this statement, the deposit of stone around the foot of these trestles did not affect the high water of 1834 in any manner, and does not figure in this case. This ground, we understand, has not changed its level since the bridge was built.

One reason for locating the bridge where it is was that the river at this place followed the west bluff, while above, and in the vicinity of Plattsmouth, the channel was variable, the high water width being about 4,000 feet. In 1874 and 1875 a dyke was built on the east side of the river to serve as a landing for the transfer steamer. It was built of brush, stone and piles at an angle to the average current of the river, and extended to within 700 feet of the west bluff. This dyke was considerably below high water; it had been made permanent and beyond the chances of washing out by additions and repairs, and its effect, joined to other causes had reduced the width of the river, which a mile above was 4,000 to 700 feet at low water.

The Commissioners believe they have stated all the points that enter into the discussion of this question.

If the statements made are correct, it is clear that the O'Neal and Jessup sloughs could not have carried off all the water that came out of the river at B, A, C, a point about one and a half miles above the bridge; how much detriment to the overflowed lands was due to the part of the overflow that these sloughs would have carried, they are not prepared to determine. There are many considerations, particularly the fall to the east, that seem to indicate that if the water gets over the bank at B, A, C, it must cover most of the low land to the east. They cannot conclude that the channel has been so reduced in size at the bridge as to back the water, because the fall at high water is about double in the mile above that is in the mile below the bridge, and the waterway is about as large or larger than at the bridges below. On the question of the effect of closing the two sloughs, they are in doubt; and as the matter is in the courts in twenty-seven different cases, brought

by land-holders, they feel that any determination by them would not settle the litigation or be of any material benefit. They have decided to decline giving any opinion on the complaint further than indicated above.

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Complainants are dealers in farm machinery at Aurelia, Iowa, and make complaint that they have for some time been annoyed by delay of their goods in transit over respondent's road. Machinery shipped by them is nearly always wanted for immediate sale and use, and these delays have entailed upon them in many instances a severe pecuniary loss. Complainants particularly state that on July 16th a consignment of binding twine was billed to them from Champaign, Ill., but that up to the date of their letter-July 24th-no trace of it could be found.

Replying to a communication on this subject from the Commissioners, Mr. Horace Tucker, General Freight Agent, said that the shipment in question was about nine days on their line, indicating detention somewhere, but that every precaution would henceforth be taken by his company to insure the prompt forwarding of goods.




Filed August 6, 1884.

Depot at crossing.

STERLING, ILL., August 2, 1884.

HON. PETER A. DEY, Railroad Commissioner, Iowa City, Iowa:

DEAR SIR-Mr. Green, from Marshalltown, told me you was the man to write to for information concerning the enforcement of this new State law about the locating depots at the junction of railroad crossings. I own the land at the junction of the Wabash branch with the Lake City division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway at Lohrville in Calhoun county.

Would most respectfully call your attention to the fact that the transfer of passengers at that point places passengers at such an inconvenience and expense, that in my opinion it is one of those points designated by the new law. Please let me know whether you intend to let the new law stay a dead letter, or whether you are intending to enforce the same.


Yours truly,


J. B. CRANDALL, Sterling, Illinois:

DES MOINES, IOWA, August 6, 1884.

SIR-Your letter of August 2d received and contents noted. It is not the intention of the Commissioners to "let the new law stay a dead letter.” Chapter 24 of the Laws of the Twentieth General Assembly, to which you refer, says that "all railroad corporations shall at all points of connection crossing, or intersection with the roads of other corporations unite with such corporations in establishing and maintaining suitable platforms and station houses for the convenience of passengers desiring to transfer from one road to the other, and for the transfer of passengers, baggage, or freight, whenever the same shall be ordered by the Railroad Commission." No application has yet been made to the Railroad Commission, nor any proof submitted of the necessity or public demand for a station at the point designated in your letter.

The discretionary powers given the Board by the law seem to be for the purpose of determining whether a necessity exists that would require a permanent addition to the expenses of the road equal to the interest on an increase of capital of twenty thousand dollars. If you wish a station at that point please present proof of the public necessity requiring such an outlay.

By order of the Board.



E. G. MORGAN, Secretary.



Filed August 8, 1884.

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Mr. Richardson asked the Commissioners to order the construction of a connecting track or "Y" at the crossing of the Central Iowa and Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railways in Belmond, he having in operation an elevator on the line of the first named railway, and desiring to ship a part of his grain over the line of the other. Respondents were accordingly notified by the Commissioners that the requirements of section 1292 of the Code directing the connecting of intersecting railways by means of a " Y " were imperative, admitting of no excuse or exception, and they were requested to proceed at once to comply with the requirements of the law.

This order was subsequently modified by the Commissioners on the withdrawal of his application by complainant, it having also been shown by respondents that immediate compliance on their part would be attended with great difficultylon account of the lateness of the season, and with undue expense for right of way. The case was continued by request of the parties.




Filed August 12, 1884.

Petition for a transfer track between two railroads.

KNOXVILLE, IOWA, August 11, 1884.


GENTLEMEN-In the interest of our mining operations I wish to call your attention to the fact that a transfer from the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy to the Chicago & Northwestern Railway is greatly needed at Des Moines. Such transfer would not only benefit us but would conduce to the larger development of the coal fields of the south Des Moines valley, thus inaugurating the beginning of a business the dimensions of which are beyond the reach of present calculation. Is it within the scope of your powers to facilitate the completion of the transfer long since commenced?


Yours truly,


H. J. BUDD, Esq., Knoxville, Iowa:

DES MOINES, IOWA, August 15, 1884.

DEAR SIR-Your letter of August 11th, relating to a transfer switch between the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and Chicago & Northwestern Railway at this point, has been considered by the Commissioners. Section 1292 of the Code provides for transfer switches where roads either connect or cross, but it is the understanding of the Commissioners that the roads in question neither connect nor cross, and they find no power in the law to order them to do so. If the roads connected or crossed, section 1292 and those following it provide for the transfer connection.

By order of the Board.

E. G. MORGAN, Secretary.






Filed August 13, 1884.

In a letter of complaint to the Commissioners, Mr. Williams made the following allegations: The main line of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway is about thirty miles south of Ida Grove, and this company also have two branch lines in Ida county, one of them passing through the town of Ida Grove. North of these branches is located the line of the Illinois Central Railroad. By reason of the competition of this latter road on the one hand, and of roads south of the main line of respondent's road on the other, the rates of freight on respondent's main line and northern branch are kept at a reasonable figure, but on the Ida Grove branch they are exhorbitantly high, and merchants doing business in that town are consequently unable to pay as high prices for grain as do those in adjoining towns on either side. The complaint was made by request of citizens of Ida Grove, and the advice and assistance of the Commissioners invoked, in the hope that speedy relief might be obtained through their intervention.

In answer to the charges made by Mr. Williams, Vice President Hughitt of the C. & N. W. R'y Co. asserted that the rates in force on grain at all stations on their main line from Carroll to Woodbine, and on the Maple River road and branches were precisely the same, there being no distinction made on account of the reasons stated by complainant. On receipt of respondent's reply complainant was notified that it would be necessary for him to furnish the Commissioners with evidence, either by affidavit or deposition, to substantiate the statements made in his letter of complaint. Having failed to do so, although repeatedly called upon, the case was dismissed.

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