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way, which was made to terminate at Piermont, twenty-five miles from New York, in order to prevent the people of New Jersey from sharing in its benefits. Millions upon millions were squandered in this case by sacrificing the proper route to local and petty jealousies. Actuated by a similar spirit, the State of Pennsylvania, stretching from Lake Erie to the Delaware, sought for a long time to avail itself of its geographical position to cut off the States lying to the North and East from proper

railroad communication with the West. But such a policy could not long be sustained, and that State has adopted a liberal general law which renders the construction of railroads within it a common right.

The means chiefly resorted to by the companies to protect themselves from the effects of competition resulting from the perfect freedom which exists in the construction of these works, is the consolidation of rival and tributary lines. Similar consolidations have been carried to such an extent in England that nearly all the railroads of that country are now owned by twelve great companies whose average capital eqnals £180,000,000. The same tendency is manifesting itself in this country. The Chicago and Northwestern, from numerous consolidations, now own and operate. 1,300 miles; the Milwaukie and St. Paul, 1,000 miles; the Pennsylvania Railroad, fully 2,400 miles; the Reading, 1,150 miles; and the New York Central and Hudson River, 1,000 miles. How far such consolidations will effect the purposes that prompted them is yet to be seen. In case of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the object of consolidating so many lines with that road was a commercial rather than a financial one-to wield the immense power of that Corporation for the benefit of the State of Pennsylvania—to promote especially the trade and commerce of its chief city, Philadelphia. In most cases of consolidations it unfortunately happens that they are the occasions for the issue of a large amount of stock and bonds, as a bonus to the owners of the lines consolidated, under the pretence of equalizing values. A striking instance of this was the case of the old Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad, which cost only $4,868,427, but which went into the consolidation with the Cleveland and Toledo Railroad at a nominal capital of $12,125000. The interest or dividends upon excess of capital over cost are a perpetual tax upon the public which a few men were enabled, from their positions, to levy withont the equivalent of a penny in return. Another example of the kind is that of the New York Central Railroad Company, which, upon its consolidation with the Hudson River, made a stock dividend equaling 107 per cent. of its stocks—the alleged value of such stock over par.



The rapidity of the growth, and the present extent and value of the tonnage transported upon the railroads of the United States is by far the most interesting and wonderful phenomenon connected with these works.


The tonnage has not only been a creation of these works, but has been wholly created by them since 1851. The lines of railroad first constructed were chiefly between navigable water-courses for the transportation of passengers. The route of travel, in 1836 between Boston and Washington, for example, was by rail from Boston to Providence; thence by steamer between Providence and New York; thence by steamer to Perth Amboy; thence by rail to Philadelphia; thence by steamer, on the Delaware River, to Newcastle; thence by rail to Frenchtown on the Chesapeake Bay; thence by steamer, on this Bay, to Baltimore; and thence by the Washington Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Washington. The links of railroad composing this line of travel were frail structures, adapted only to a light passenger traffic. They could by no means compete for freight with vessels between the different points upon it, and up to this time, consequently, were of little value or importance to the commerce of the country. The tonnage of all the railroads of the United States for 1851 did not exceed 5,000,000 tons. The total earnings from freight transportation that year did not, as already shown, exceed $20,000,000. In 1869, the tonnage of all our railroads exceeded 100,000,000 tons, and their earnings, from this source, equaled $300000,000. This vast commerce has been wholly a creation of railroads, by the reduction they have effected in the cost of transportation. The cost, for example, of transporting Indian corn and wheat over ordinary highways, will equal 20 cents per ton per mile. At such a rate, as already shown, the former will bear transportation only 125 miles to market, where its value is equal to 75 cents per bushel; the latter only 250 miles, where its value is $1 50 per bushel. With such highways only, our most valuable cereals will have no commercial value outside of circles having radii of 125 and 250 miles, respectively. Upon a railroad the cost of transportation equals one and a quarter cents per ton per mile. With such a work, consequently, the circle within which corn and wheat, at the prices named, will have a marketable value, will be drawn upon radii of 1,600 and 3,200 miles, respectively. The area of a circle with a radius of 125 miles is 49,087 square miles; that of a circle drawn upon a radius of 1,600 miles is about 160 times greater, or 8,042,406 square miles. Such a difference, enormous as it is, only measures the value of the new agencies employed in transportation, and the results achieved, compared with the old.

The gross tonnage traffic of the railroads of the United States is ascertained with reasonable accuracy. In Massachusetts, Connecticut, New

. York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other States, the railroad companies are required to make returns, among other things, of their tonnage traffic. The tonnage traffic of the railroads of Pennsylvania the past year equaled 47,819,722 tons, or 8,000 tons per mile. That of the railroads of Massachusetts for the same year equaled 8,045,398 tons, or 5,438 tons to


the mile. The tonnage of the New York roads for 1868 equaled 11,961,692 tons, or 3,625 tons to the mile. The aggregate tonnage of these three States equaled 67,826,912 tons, or 6,338 tons to the mile of line. A similar tonnage, per mile, for all the railroads of the United States, embracing say 47000 miles of line, would give an aggregate of more than 200,000,000 tons. The tonnage of the railroads of the other States will not come up to the average of those named. The average tonnage for the whole cannot, however, be less than 2,500 tons to the mile. Such a rate, for all our roads, would give an aggregate of 117,500,000 tons. From this aggregate, however, must be deducted duplicated tonnage-or tonnage passing over more than one road. Estimated at 25,000,000 tons, the net quantity would, therefore, equal 92,500,000 tons.


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The value of this tonnage is estimated at $150 per ton, after deducting, say 20,000,000 tons for coals, ores, and other low priced freights—that of the tonnage for the whole country being estimated at the ascer tained value of that of the railroads of New York. The tonnage of the railroads of that State is classified, in the returns made to the Legislature, in the same manner as is that transported on the canals of the State. The value of the tonnage of the latter, classified under the following heads “ Products of the Forest;" “ Products of Animals;" “ Vegetable Food;” “Other Agricultural Products;" “Manufactures,” “Merchandize,” and “Other Articles,” is carefully ascertained. Applying a similar rate of valuation to the different classes of the tonnage of the New York Roads, the value of the latter would equal, on the average, $150 per ton. It is assumed that the tonnage of the railroads of other States equal, in value, that of the New York roads. Such a rate would, for the merchandize tonnage of all our roads-to wit, 72,500,000 tons-give a gross value of $10,875,000,000. (In the MANUAL for 1869–70, the annual returns for a series of years are given, showing the traffic of the railroads and canals of the State of New York, with the value of their tonnage, from which the above estimates of value are deduced.)

Vast as is the extent and value of this tonnage, the rapidity of its growth is a matter of still greater wonder. The total tonnage in 1851 of all the railroads of the State of New York, having a mileage of 1,703 miles, was 1,093,381 tons. The average tonnage per mile equaled 623 tons. The number of miles of railroads in the United States, and transporting freight that year, was 8,838 miles. A tonnage for all these, equal to that per mile, of the railroads of New York, would give an aggregate of 5,504,828 tons, against a gross tonnage in 1869 of 117,500,000 tons, or a net merchandize tonnage of 72,500,000. In 1851, the duplications and amount of low priced tonnage were very small. Only short lines were then in existence, and there was then no considerable development of

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our iron and coal industries. The whole tonnage of 1851, consequently, may be put down as net merchandize tonnage. The increase of such tonnage in a period of eighteen years, therefore, equaled 67,000,000 tons. The yearly increase in quantity averaged 3,723,333 tons.

The value of the railroad tonnage transported in 1851 at $150 per ton equaled $810,725,200. In 1869, its value, at $150 per ton, equaled $10875,000,000. The total increase of value in this period of 18 years equaled $10,064,274,800. The annual increase of value equaled $558,500000.

It would be interesting to compare the progress of the internal commerce of the country, in amount and value, with that of its population. It 1850, the net merchandize tonnage of its railroads did not exceed 4,500,000 tons, or 400 pounds per head. In 1860, the total tonnage was 18,500,000, or 1,209 poun ls per head. In 1869, the total net tonnage equaled 72,500,000 tons, or 3,816 pounds per hea l. The value of the tonnage per head in 1850 equaled $29; in 1860, $84; and in 1869, $285 per head. Of course, this ratio of increase will not be maintained after railroad facilities shall have been supplied to every portion of the country. But in the older States, whose population shows the slowest increase, the tonnage of their railroads, without any increase of line, duplicates itself as often as once in ten years. The tonnage of the railroads of Massachusetts, in 1860, equaled 4,094,364 tons; in 1869, 8,044,498 tons. The increase of population of the State in this period did not exceed 10 per cent. The increase of tonnage of the railroads of New York for a similar period shows a ratio of increase twice greater. It is safe to estimate that the railroad tonnage of the country would duplicate itself as often as once in ten years were there no increase of line, or population, from the progress made in its industries, and in the mechanic arts.


The earnings of our railroads, like their tonnage, must, from the failure of many companies to report them, be estimated; but ample data for a sufficiently accurate estimate exist. The earnings for 1868 of the railroads of Massachusetts were $22,761,617, or $15,400 per mile. Those of the State of New York for 1868 were $49,377,790, or $13,142 per mile. The average earnings for the State of Pennsylvania for 1868 were $13,900 per mile. The earnings of the railroads of Illinois exceeded $10,000 per mile. The average for the whole country may be assumed to be at the iatter rate, which would give an aggregate of $400,000,000. The earnings per head of population equaled $128.

The ratio of earnings from freight to earnings from passengers, is nearly two and a half to one-the gross amount of the former being about $280,000,000; of the latter, about $120,000,000. The earnings from freight of the railroads of New York, for 1868, was $31,570,968; from

passengers, $14,855,689. The ratio of freight to passenger earnings of most of the other States, particularly South and West, is much greater.

The excess of receipts from freight over those from passengers, is one of the most favorable features connected with these works. It shows how instrumental they have been in developing the commerce of the country, and how intimately they are allied to all its material interests. At the earlier periods in their history the receipts from passengers largely predominated. So late as 1851 they were almost exactly balanced. In all the States the receipts from freight increased much more rapidly than receipts from passengers.


The past year witnessed the completion of the most important enterprise of the kind ever executed in any country—a line of railroad from the Missouri River across the Continent, and with connecting lines, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, a distance of 3,300 miles. This great undertaking was commenced in the latter part of 1863, but no considerable amount of work was done till 1865, in which year only about 100 miles were constructed. In 1866, about 300 miles were opened ; in 1867, about the same number; in 1868, about 800 miles; and in 1869, 300 miles : the whole distance from the Missouri to Sacramento being 1,776 miles. The act for the construction of this work provided for a branch from Kansas City, designed to connect with the main line at the 100 meridian, but since diverted nearly west to the western boundary of the State of Kansas, 400 miles; a branch extending from Atchison, on the Missouri River, designed also to connect with the main line, 100 miles; and a branch from Sioux City, 100 miles, and a branch from Sacramento to the Bay of San Francisco, 130 miles. The total mileage constructed under the authority and by aid of Congress has been 2,500 miles, viz. : Union Pacific 10,30 miles; Central Pacific of California, 760 miles; Kansas Pacific (Eastern Division), 400 miles; the Central Pacific Branch (Atchison and Pike's Peak), 100 miles; the Sioux City Branch, 100 miles; and the Western (California) Pacific, 130 miles. Toward the construction of these roads the Government has issued its 6 per cent. currency bonds, to the amount of about $63,616,000, viz.: upon 300 miles at the rate of $48000 per mile; upon 976 miles at the rate of $32,000 per mile; and upon 1,244 miles at the rate of $16,000 per mile. The annual interest upon

the above sum will equal $3,934,560. These bonds are a second mortgage upon the respective lines, the several Companies being authorized to issue their own bonds to an amount equal to the Government subsidy, and to make them a first mortgage upon their roads.

The influence of these works, particularly the main line, upon the commerce and welfare of the country, must be immense.

A vast commerce, yet in its infancy, already exists between the two shores of the

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