52 Railroad Transportation

cent, freight, operating, average, cars, tons, railroads, revenues, passenger and companies

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Equipment and PersonneL— At the closing of the calendar year 1917 it was officially re ported that the railroad.companies operating this mileage were equipped with 2,568,374 cars, of which 2,409,548 were in the freight service, 55,939 in the passenger service and 103,916 in company service. In addition the Pullman Com pany owns over 5,000 sleeping, tourist, parlor and other specialized passenger service cars, and on 1 Jan. 1913 137,179 privately owned freight cars were in use throughout the United States. The number of locomotives in service on 31 Dec. 1917 totaled 66,070. There has been a steady tendency to increase the capacity of freight cars and locomotives • in the United States. The average capacity of freight cars in the United States now exceeds 41.3 tons as com pared with 14.5 tons in Germany where the av erage capacity is the largest in Europe. Many American cars in the coal and ore trade have a capacity ranging from 50 to 65 tons and some exceed this figure. The average weight of Ger man locomotives before the war was 52 tons, excluding tender, while the average weight of locomotives, including tender, in the United States is close to 90 tons. During the 10 years ending in 1916 the average number of tons per train in the United States has advanced from 344 to 535; the average number of tons per loaded car from 18.9 to 22.4; the average number of freight cars per train from 26'/a to 34.9 and of loaded freight cars per train from 18.2 to 23.4. The railroad companies in operating the railroad system during the calendar year 1916 employed an average of 1,700,814 employees and paid $1,506,961,000 in wages and salaries. In 1917 Class I lines, i.e., those having a yearly op erating revenue exceeding $1,000,000, employed an average of 1,732,876 employees who received a total compensation of $1,739,482,000.

Railroad Capitalization.—The magnitude of the American railroad system is further por trayed by its huge capitalization. The total par value of railroad capital outstanding in 1917 was $20,247,659,000. The proportion of this representing watered securities cannot be ac curately stated, as current statistics of market value are not published and the work of valua tion undertaken by the Interstate Commerce Commission is far from completion. On 1917 investment in road and equipment, representing the book values reported by the Class I and II railroads, amounted to $18,423,235,000. An ac curate comparison cannot, however, be made be cause of inaccuracies occurring in book values before the commission prescribed a uniform ac counting schedule for investment in road and equipment. The dividends declared by the rail road companies, excluding switching and termi nal companies, in 1917 totaled $381,852,000 or 6.81 per cent on the dividend-yielding stock. Over 36 per cent of the capital stock of Ameri can railroads, however, was not paying any dividends whatever. Railroad dividends reached their maximum in 1911 with $460,195,000 and an average rate on dividend-paying stock of 8.03

per cent.

Revenues and The operating revenues of the railways operated under gov ernment control in the calendar year 1918 reached the astounding total of $4,913,320,000. Of this, $3,450,094,000 consisted of freight reve nues, $827,219,000 of passenger revenues and the remainder of mail, express, miscellaneous trans portation, incidental and point facility revenues. Although these operating revenues were greater than during previous years, expenses under went a more rapid increase and caused a heavy reduction in net operating income. Operating expenses of the lines under government con trol rose from $2,858,212,000 in 1917 to $4,006, 895,000 in 1918. After these expenses, and also tax accruals (other than war taxes), uncollect ible revenues, equipment rents and joint-facility rents were deducted there was a balance or net operating income of but $690,419,000 in 1918 as compared with $974,779,000 in 1917. There was a deficit of about $210,000,000 below the stand ard return guaranteed by the government under the Federal Control Act. It is this reduction of net income that so greatly complicates the re turn of the railroads by the government to the railroad companies and the adoption of a satis factory governmental policy. The average rates of operating expenses to operating reve nues or ((operating ratio,)) advanced from 70.5 per cent in 1917 to 81.5 per cent in 1918.

Railroad The freight traffic of the railroads operated under government control measured in ton-miles, advanced slightly from 427,342,924,000 in 1917 to 434,997,928,000 in 1918. A total of 1,264,016,000 tons of freight were carried in 1917, 57.96 per cent of which con sisted of coal, ore, coke, sand, stone and other mine products, 15.27 per, cent of manufactured products, 8.28 per cent of agricultural products, 7.98 per cent of forest products, 2.52 per cent livestock and animal products, and 7.99 per cent of miscellaneous commodities and general mer chandise. The large proportion of heavy, bulky commodity traffic is one of the striking differ ences between the freight traffic of American and European railroads. So 'also is the long average haul per ton of freight which was 312.07 miles for Class I railroads in 1917 as compared with about 62 in Germany and 78 in France shortly before the European War began. The passenger traffic of American railroads has, with the exception' of a few unusual lines, al ways been of secondary importance as a source of operating revenue. It has, however grown largely in volume during the past 15 years. Many railroads improved their passenger serv ices and actively competed for passenger traf fic. Measured in passenger miles it advanced from 29,082,837,000 in the fiscal year 1908 to 42,605,902,000 in the calendar year 1918, exclud ing short lines having less than $100,000 in yearly revenues and switching and terminal companies.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7