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TENTH ANNUAL REPORT.
To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives: The Board of Railroad Commissioners have the honor to submit their Tenth Annual Report herewith:
REPORTS FROM RAILROAD COMPANIES.
Annual Reports have been received from all the Railroads operated in this State except the Barnwell Railway and the Charleston, Cincinnati and Chicago Railroad, the latter being in process of construction. Attention is called to the tabulated statistics published in this Report.
NAMES AND MILEAGE OF RAILROADS IN THE STATE.
Asheville and Spartanburg Railroad...
Ashley River Railroad....
Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railway.
Blackville, Alston and Newberry Railroad...
Georgetown and Western Railroad...
Green Pond, Walterboro and Branchville Railroad.. 12
Port Royal and Augusta Railway.
Port Royal and Western Carolina Railway.
Miles in South Carolina. 24.25 4
Spartanburg, Union and Columbia Railroad........ 68
Total miles this year.
An increase of..
Total miles in South Carolina June 30, 1888.. . Since the 30th of June 63.5 miles have been opened, making the total number of miles October 1, 1888.
Miles in South Carolina. 68
And, since the 30th June up to 1st October, 63.5 miles have also been opened, showing that the activity in railroad construction alluded to last year has been carried on.
CONDITION OF ROADS.
Reference being had to the Report of inspection of the roads in the State, it will be found that the steady improvement in the physical condition of almost all of them is still being carried on, and the hope is expressed that it may continue, until we can show in South Carolina as great a degree of excellence in this respect as any other State.
Your attention is called to the following synopsis :
During the year 146.43 miles of track have been relaid with steel rails. To this must be added the new mileage laid with steel, which will make a total in steel, the past fiscal year, of 229.93 miles.
More attention is being paid to this feature of the roads. Some of the trunk lines have been much improved in this respect. Among the best substances used for this purpose are the phosphate gravel from the large beds of this article along the coast, and a substance found at Long View in Georgia, which is being successfully applied to the Air Line Road.
A very large number of ties are used during the year in renewing and repairing tracks, and it was gratifying to the Commission, in
their annual inspection, to note that most of the roads exercise great care in watching this portion of their work. In most instances ties not considered good for at ast twelve m ths are taken out and replaced by new ones.
During the past fiscal year seven iron truss or girder bridges (a) total length of 2,792 feet) were built, replacing the same number of wooden structures.
The principal lines in the State are for the most part making considerable improvements in this particular, and their equipment in both passenger and freight departments are being brought up to a high standard.
While a considerable amount of work has been done in this department, there is much room for improvement in many directions. As an instance of reasonable complaint, the attention of the Legislature is called to the Shelton case-full report of which appears in Report of Railroad Commission for 1885.
There are about 7,500 men in the employ of the railway service in this State.
During the past year forty-four persons were killed and one hundred and fourteen injured on the roads in South Carolina. Of the killed, three were passengers, eighteen employees and twenty-three others than passengers or employees. Five were killed from causes beyond their control and thirty-nine by reason of their own negligence or carelessness. No passenger was killed from any fault on the part of a railroad. Of the injured, twenty-two cases were from causes beyond their control and ninety-two by reason of their own negligence or carelessness.
Since the issuance of Circular No. 14, as published in last Report, the various railroad corporations have been much more prompt in filing their Reports, in consequence of which the Secretary has been enabled to keep the work of the office in much better shape.
[Circular No. 15.]
To the Railroad Companies of South Carolina :
The Commission, after having obtained the Attorney General's opinion on the subject, directs that all joint rates now in force charging the same for a shorter as for a longer distance be withdrawn, and rates charging more for longer than for shorter distances be substituted therefor, the same to be submitted to the Commission for their approval before being put in operation.
By order of the Board.
M. L. BONHAM, Chairman Board.
M. T. BARTLETT, Secretary.
The roads interested in the above circular will adjust their rates so as to conform to the opinion of the Attorney General.
OFFICE OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS,
Increase net earnings 1887-88...
The total income of year ending June 30, 1888, shows an in
And expenses show an increase of..
Increase net earnings this year as above....
34,817,529 95 1,336,598 39
$ 2,678,753 21 4,683,340 17
9,775 59 103,423 05
$7,475,292 02 5,137,981 90
$2,337,310 12 1,693,400 15
941,047 74 297,137 77
AMENDMENTS TO THE LAW.
The Commission earnestly urges upon your honorable body the imperative necessity of amending Section 1457 so as to provide a specific mode or remedy for enforcing such orders as the Board may be called upon to make thereunder. In the opinion of the Attorney General of South Carolina, "Such amendment would seem neces
sary under the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Railroad Commissioners vs. C. & G. R. R., known as the Shelton Case." A Bill suggesting such amendments as were deemed proper was introduced during the session of the Legislature of 1887, but, being low down on the calendar, was not reached before adjournment.
Your attention is further called to the necessity of so amending an Act passed during the session of 1887, entitled "An Act to prevent monopolies in the transportation of freights and to secure free competition in the same, and for other purposes," as to make it effective and enable the Commission to carry out the views of the authors of same. Reference to the correspondence in regard to the connection of the Port Royal and Western Carolina and Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railroads at Spartanburg, S. C., (published elsewhere in this Report,) will no doubt convince your honorable body of the inability of the Commission to require roads to connect under the law as it now stands.
COMPLAINTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.
Complaint of Moses & Harby of Unreasonable Charges on Lumber by Atlantic Coast Line When Cars Have Been Overloaded.
This is a very serious question, and one that the Commission thinks it would be well for the Legislature to look into and provide a penalty, or to so amend the law that discretionary powers under such circumstances be given to the Board of Railroad Commissioners.
The full correspondence between the Coast Line and the Commission is published for information :
[Circular No. 1767.]
ATLANTIC COAST LINE,
FREIGHT DEPARTMENT, WILMINGTON, N. C., August 23, 1887. The attention of agents is called to the fact that cars containing lumber and other forest products are being overloaded.
You will ntify shippers that any excess over capacity of cars, as marked thereon, will be charged double rates.
Agents at delivering stations will assess accordingly.
Referring to Superintendent of Transportation's Circular, No. 41, concerning the loading of long lumber, full rates will be assessed on each car used.
T. M. EMERSON, General Freight Agent.
WILMINGTON, N. C., October 1, 1887.
M. T. BARTLETT, Esq., Secretary, Columbia, S. C. DEAR SIR: I have yours of the 20th covering copy of complaint of Messrs. Moses & Harby concerning charging of double rates on lumber in excess of marked capacity of cars.
Your Board is undoubtedly aware that the overloading of cars is one which may cause serious accidents and loss of life, and it is in the interest of the safety of our employees that it has been found necessary to adopt some rule that would prevent such overloading.
We have had several accidents caused by overloading of cars, but fortunately no loss of life or injury to persons.