LENGTH OF LINES In operation 8 700 kilometers ( 5,448 miles) Granted 16,174 kilometers (10,050 miles) Million francs By the state and sundry 790 ($1513,000,111 By the companies 8,884 1859-75.— The situation of the companies having become critical, the government, on 11 June 1859, induced Parliament to ratify agree merits between the state and the companies of the following nature: In order to restore the companies to the situation they had enjoyed before the grants of secondary lines, the system of each was divided into two sections, called the old and the new systems. The capital appropriated to the new system received a guarantee of 4.65 per cent interest for 50 years, beginning with 1865. Working expenses were included in a single account. Beyond a certain sum, repre senting the dividend guaranteed to the old system and the redemption of its capital, the excess of the net profits had to be expended on the new system, so as to cover partly, at least; the revenue guaranteed by the state, which was advancing the difference. This scheme has been named the ((Overfall" (dever soir). The sums advanced by the state for the guarantee were regarded as loans, the com panies paying interest on them at 4 per cent.
On the other hand it was specially agreed that after 1872 the companies should share with the state such portion of their revenue as exceeded a certain fixed figure, called the ((partition point." This figure was determined
so as to allow the old system a higher dividend than at first, and to ensure to the new system, over and above the redemption charges, a revenue of 6 per cent.
If at the expiration of the grant the com panies should prove to be debtors to the state, their working plant was to be assigned for the repayment of the sums due. Moreover, the state might redeem the grant at the end of 15 years by paying for the remainder of the time an annuity determined according to the revenue of the preceding seven years. The working plant was to be bought in at an expert valua tion.
Such were the chief clauses of these agree ments which enabled. the companies to place their finances on a firm basis and to add about 700 kilometers yearly to their lines in oper ation.
At the close 1875, in spite of the loss of 800 kilometers (497 miles) with Alsace-Lorraine the system "of general interest," that is, the man system, showed the following develop ment: LltbiTH or LINKS In operation 19,744 kilometers Granted 26,423 kilometers