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STATE OF NEW YORK.

No. 114.

IN A S S E M B L Y.

February 20th, 1867.

OFFICE OF THE STATE ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR,

ALBANY, February 20th, 1867. To the Hon. EDMUND L. PITTS,

Speaker of the Assembly, SIR-I have the honor to transmit herewith to the Legislature, the Annual Report of the State Engineer and Surveyor on the Railroads of the State of New York, for the year ending September 30th, 1866, as prepared by my deputy, JAMES BARNES.

Yery respectfully,
J. P. GOODSELL,

State Engineer and Surveyor.

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OFFICE OF THE STATE ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR,

ALBANY, February 20th, 1867. Hon. J. P. GOODSELL,

State Engineer and Surveyor, The following “Annual Report of the State Engineer and Surveyor, and of the tabulations and deductions from the reports of the railroad corporations,” for the year ending Sept. 30th, 1866, has been prepared in conformity to the requirements of act, chapter 1840, Laws of 1850.

The "act to authorize the formation of railroad corporations, and to regulate the same," passed April 2d, 1850, requires the annual reports of the several railroad companies to be filed in the office of the State Engineer and Surveyor by the first day of December in each year. (Sec. 31.)

If this provision of the law was complied with, the annual report of the State Engineer and Surveyor could be prepared and submittted to the Legislature at the commencement of its session. But so far is this from being the case that while only a part of the companies report at all to this office, many of the reports which are made are received at so late a date as to render a serious delay in the preparation of the annual report of the State Engineer unavoidable.

Of one hundred and seventy existing corporations which are required by law to make annual reports to this department, only sixty-nine have so reported for the last fiscal year. Of this number there were received, On or before the first day of December,...

27 From 2d to 15th of December, inclusive, .........

20 From 16th to 31st do do

11 From 1st to 15th of January, do

8 From 16th to 31st do do

1 From 1st to 13th of February, do

2 Total,......

69 A similar state of facts has existed in former years. The consequence has been that the Annual Report of the State Engineer and Surveyor has uniformly been presented late in the session, as follows: In 1859,

February 17th.

March 1st. In 1861,

February 13th. In 1862,

do 18th, In 1863,

do 17th. In 1864,

17th. In 1865,

March 24th, In 1866,

do 6th. This delay results in so late a publication of the reports that they are only received at this office for distribution during the following summer, or nearly a full year after the end of the fiscal year for which they are prepared, and to the operations of which they relate.

Several of the horse or street railroads are exempted by special enactments from the provisions of section 31 of the act of April 2d, 1850, which requires annual reports to be made, and by act, chapter 145, Laws of 1860, it is provided that “any street railway now or hereafter to be built within or along any of the streets in the city of Buffalo, and” * "any corporation now or hereafter to be organized for that purpose" is exempted from the obligation to report annually as required by said act of 1850.

The act of April 2d, 1850, was framed with especial reference to steam railroads, and the provisions of section 31 of that act are not therefore generally applicable to the operations of horse or street railroads. This is productive of a want of uniformity in their annual reports which renders it difficult to tabulate the results in an intelligible and useful manner.

In 1860,

do

An amendment to the act is now pending in the State Legislature, which requires all railroad corporations which now exist or which may hereafter be formed in this State, to report annually to the State Engineer and Surveyor, and specifying in what particulars the street or horse railroads shall so report. The bill also provides additional penalties for non-compliance with this requirement. If this bill shall become a law it is believed that hereafter the annual report from this office can be sent to the Legislature promptly, and that the operations of the street railroads can be tabulated in such manner as to be of practical benefit to the public.

Very respectfully,

JAMES BARNES,
Deputy State Engineer and Surveyor.

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