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THE HARTFORD, PROVIDENCE AND FISHKILL RAILROAD COMPANY

have expended for maintenance of way $188,251.66, a large proportion of which was for new rails, and $93,972.25 for purchase or repairs of rolling stock, of which $2,602.72 was for new rolling stock, making a total of $282,223.91, all of which was charged to profit and loss.

PROVIDENCE AND SPRINGFIELD RAILROAD COMPANY

have replaced about thirty tons of new iron rails. They report as expended for purchase or repairs of rolling stock $2,176.84, and for maintenance of way $6,981.12, which aggregate of $9,157.96 was charged to expenses. They also report as expended during the year $24,181.64, which was charged to construction account, and very properly so, as it was for land damages growing out of the original lay-out of their road, and for new stations, the building of which had been deferred. They, however, commence their new year with an addition of $13,761.07 to their surplus account.

NEWPORT AND WICKFORD RAILROAD AND STEAMBOAT COMPANY

have expended for purchase or repairs of rolling stock $3,889.14, and for maintenance of way $1,375.94, making a total of $5,265.08, which was charged to expenses. The report of this corporation for this year is so entirely at variance with all other business matters of the year that I feel compelled to especially refer to it and that their position may be easily seen, I herewith compare their returns of the year with the one of the previous year:

Total receipts....

Net earnings..

1876.
$48,419 86
1,181 60

1877.

$48,761 43

7,192 76

How this result has been attained I cannot explain, particularly so, as the number of passengers, and tons of merchandise transported, have materially decreased, as compared with the previous year. They are, however, to be congratulated on the result, and they commence their new year with their debt decreased and $4,488.40 added to their surplus account.

NARRAGANSETT PIER RAILROAD COMPANY

have expended $943.08 for purchase or repairs of rolling stock, and $6,563.26 for maintenance of way, which amounts were charged to expenses. Their previous report being for only a portion of a year, I cannot well compare them.

WOOD RIVER BRANCH RAILROAD COMPANY

have charged to expenses the $344.48 as expended by them for purchase or repairs of rolling stock, with the $1,778.65 expended for maintenance of way.

OLD COLONY RAILROAD COMPANY

have expended during the year $174,236.17 for purchase or repairs of rolling stock, and $351,321.15 for maintenance of way, making an aggregate of $525,557.32, which was charged to expenses. Ten new freight, and ten gravel and coal cars, have been added to their rolling stock, and five locomotives, three passenger cars, two baggage cars, twenty-one freight and nineteen gravel cars have been rebuilt. Four thousand and twelve tons of steel, and 1,260 tons of iron rails, and 102,435 new sleepers have been used in repairing and improving the track, and 1,217 tons of rails have been taken up, repaired and relaid.

FALL RIVER, WARREN AND PROVIDENCE RAILROAD COMPANY have paid $5,356.05 for use of rolling stock, and $2,517.16 for maintenance of way, which amounts were charged to expenses.

PROVIDENCE, WARREN AND BRISTOL RAILROAD COMPANY

have expended $8,046.65 for purchase or repairs of rolling stock, and $23,485.58 for maintenance of way, which total amount of $31,532.23 was charged to expenses. Their net earnings for the year show an increase of $19,387.76. They commence their new year with their indebtedness reduced $20,000.

NEW YORK AND NEW ENGLAND RAILROAD COMPANY

have expended as follows: $102,717.94 for purchase or repairs of rolling stock, and $289,866.24 for maintenance of way. This total of $392,584.18 was charged $350,265.37 to expenses, $33,718.76 to construction, and $8,600.05 to equipment. The amount charged to construction was $4,639.99 for extension of double track, $23,631.66 for improvements and land at Franklin, Mass., rendered necessary in order to make their connection with the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Railroad. and which charges are perhaps justifiable. The $8,600.05 was for new cars. This charge, and the one for extension of double

track, seems to me not to be justifiable, but I propose to refer to it again in another place in this report. They have laid during the year 1,445 tons of new steel rails and nearly 51,000 new ties. Their net earnings for the year show an increase of $93,321.58 over the previous, while their receipts only show an increase of $9,854.58. They commence their new year with their indebtedness reduced $2,868.98 and their surplus increased $70,521.60. This corporation has leased the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Railroad and are operating it.

THE PAWTUXET VALLEY RAILROAD

is leased to the Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad Company.

UNION RAILROAD COMPANY

show an increase in their receipts of $8,333.83, as compared with the previous year, with an increased expenditure, so as to make their net earnings somewhat less than the previous year.

As work proposed for the coming year, I do not hear of any to report, although I feel quite confident, that should business matters decidedly improve, railroad enterprises that have been allowed to slumber will speedily assume life.

I dislike exceedingly to be compelled to report that any of our railroad corporations have again increased their equipment or rolling stock

account.

In my last report I referred at length to this method of doing business: that various expenditures of the year, which, in my judgment, were nothing more or less than legitimate expenses, were charged to other accounts, and dividends were paid on a wrong basis.

Instead of changing my views, I am more strengthened in them that I am correct. When an account for rolling stock has once been opened, and the quantity requisite for the business has been procured and charged to it, there are only two ways to proceed. The original amount being carried forward from year to year, no other charges should be added to it. The two ways, then, are as follows: If the amount for subsequent purchases of rolling stock is to be charged to that account, then a certain percentage on the whole amount should be yearly charged to expenses, to equal the depreciation. The other way is: Charge the full amount of each purchase to that account, and yearly, before making up the accounts of the year; have all the rolling stock appraised by competent, disinterested persons, and let the amount they report represent the full value on that account.

GRADE-CROSSINGS.

SUGGESTIONS.

The principal suggestions which I would now submit is the same old story to which I have so many times before referred, and that is to Too many lives have already been lost by them, and the accidents from them are so constantly increasing that it does seem to me time that a decided change in regard to them should at once be made. They are now created by two sources-one by commissioners appointed to award land damages in the lay-out of a new railroad, and for which there is not, and never was, to my knowledge, the first particle of legal authority, and the other source is by town councils. I recommend that prompt legislation be had on this important subject, and a new law made confering this power solely to some of the courts of our State. The reasons that I would offer are these: To cut off the first source, because it has no law to rest upon. It is a practice gained by precedents. To cut off the other, because members of the Town Council are so constantly changing that they do not fully appreciate the importance of the matter; because a Town Council will probably grant any reasonable petition, signed either by the leading citizens of the town or else by a large proportion of the voters. of the town; because, it often happens, that the railroad company carry weekly through the towns more passengers than there are citizens of the town, thereby leaving the Council to legislate for a minority; because the matter may eventually get into the control of a clique in the town, or may affect the whole business of the town. During the present year, an example of the latter case was found. Members of the Town Council were openly threatened that unless they voted to grant the petition they would be removed from office at the next election. Efforts will, therefore, be made to elect men pledged to this one idea, without special reference to qualifications for the position. Because in granting a new highway, or changing an old one, interests outside of their own town may be affected and several town councils called upon to act; because in having this authority vested solely in the court all interests are more carefully scanned, all objections become known, and every person interested would be notified and the necessities of the case be fully understood.

I should not dwell so at length upon this matter were I not so frequently called upon to investigate accidents at these crossings.

I now present an account, in detail, of the various accidents of the year, and in investigating them I have taken nearly seventy pages of

testimony. My uniform course is to first administer the oath to the witness, then take the testimony, then read it to the witness and then have the witness sign it.

The following is an account of the

ACCIDENTS:

In my last report I mentioned that an accident had occurred on the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad, whereby THOMAS BARRY was injured, but that the nature of the injuries were such that he was unable to be present at an investigation at that time. I subsequently investigated as to the cause of the accident on February 20th. This man attempted to drive across the track on India street, coming up a gangway next east of the office of the Union Oil Company, while the regular passenger train was backing up India street going to the depot. The conductor of the train was on the front platform of the first car; the bell on the engine was ringing; some buildings obstructed the view, and when the conductor first saw the horses' heads they were some thirty feet from the crossing, and he immediately shouted, to attract the attention of the driver, who was hid from his view by the buildings, and at the same time pulled the bell-line. The man says he did not hear the shouting until it was too late to avoid being hit. It seems to me that a good proportion of the responsibility of this accident rests upon the man himself for not exercising due vigilance and care, while the balance of the responsibility rests upon the corporation for backing trains over this street.

An accident occurred February 13th, near Smith-street bridge, Providence, whereby material damage was done to an engine and cars, and one car-load of passengers somewhat shaken up. The investigation showed that the direct cause of the accident was chargeable to an engineer in the employ of the Boston and Providence Railroad Company, who did not pay sufficient attention to the signal fixed for him, and he was promptly discharged.

THOMAS HAGGARTY, fatally injured February 16th, at Pawtucket, by a train of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company. He was in their employ as brakeman on the switching engine, and his duties called him frequently off of engine to couple cars. He caught his left foot between the wheel of the freight car and jaw-strap of the car, the train being in motion, and before it could be stopped he was so jammed as to lose his life. The train was moving very slow, and the two brakemen were at the brakes putting them up at the time of

the accident.

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