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Mason and Dixon's line, and for the first time in twenty-five years the bulk of the year's construction has been in the South :
In Georgia, there were 356 miles constructed.
there were 343 miles constructed.
And in almost every State in the Union increases of from 10 to 100 miles were made, with the exception of Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, in which no new track-laying was reported. Massachusetts reports but two miles constructed, and Connecticut but seven. The ten Southern States are credited with 1,829 miles of new railway for the year, or more than double that of any other section. The six Southwestern States, including Texas, stand next highest in the list, with 792 miles. The five Central Northern States are credited with 764 miles; the five Pacific States and Territories, with 674 miles; the six Northwestern States, with 615 miles; and the nine New England and Eastern States, with but 557 miles. Although the aggregate of new railroad for the year appears small, yet at the low rate of $20,000 per mile, it involves the expenditure of $100,000,000, to say nothing of the money required to equip the new lines with rolling stock. It is hardly possible that the mileage for 1890 will fall below that of 1889, and if business has been fairly profitable on the 5,000 miles increase, it may confidently be expected to be quite as profitable for the coming year.
In the whole of Canada during 1889, only 733 miles of track were constructed, while in Mexico the construction of new lines was 369 miles. The North American system of railroads, to a great extent owned and officered by men educated by the railroads of this country, has extended to the Argentine Republic, Brazil, Chili, the Island of Cuba, Peru, the United States of Colombia, Venezuela, and to almost every smaller State on the American continent. American capital and brains, American managers and operatives, American engineers and mechanics, have pierced the recesses of the South American interior, built railways upon American ideas, and to-day the traveler from the city of Boston is landed in the city of Mexico, traversing the entire distance in a Pullman car, fitted with the luxuries of his drawing-room, and which he need not leave from one end of the journey to the other.
The railroad mileage of four States of the Union, viz., Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, is greater than the total railroad mileage of Great Britain, France or Germany. And the mileage of roads in the United States is considerably greater than half the railroad mileage of the world.
This portion of our report may very properly be closed with the language of the report of 1885: “The railroads are the arteries through which the ever-throbbing heart of labor sends the life-blood of trade and commerce to enrich the land ; which builds up our seaports, crowds our wharves and ladens our ships, adds to the grandeur of our inland cities, increases the value of our farms, and promotes the welfare and prosperity of all; and these arteries must neither be choked nor clogged by the selfishness and greed of these corporations, or ruptured by the insane rivalry and exterminating wars of competing lines. Their productiveness to the shareholder and their beneficence to the State and the people depends upon the integrity and wisdom of the management. It is an old legal maxim that all corporations are supposed to be created for the public good, and if the railroad managers were wise enough to see that their highest prosperity depends upon just how far they fulfill this maxim and promote the public good, there would be no such antagonism between them and the people as we now see, and their own interests would at the same time be conserved."
RAILROADS OF NEW JERSEY.
The total length of railroads in New Jersey at the close of 1888 was :
592.080 Third and fourth tracks,
The miles of canal and feeder in the State are 173.340. creases over 1887 are as follows:
The capital stock and bonded debt, as reported, are as follows:
The number of passengers carried over the railroads of the State during 1887, as reported in Poor's Manual in 1888, was 40,807,204, and the tons of freight transported for 1887, obtained also from Poor's Manual, was 29,036,796 tons. It is safe to assume that the number of passengers carried and tons of freight transported has not decreased since, and we can with propriety take these figures as a basis for 1888. Poor's Manual for 1889 does not tabulate the statistics in the same manner as it does in 1888, viz., by States, and hence we are unable to give the exact comparison.
Because of the geographical situation of the State of New Jersey it has often been referred to as compelling the great States of New York and Pennsylvania to contribute toll to her railroads for the carrying of passengers and the transportation of freight between these two States. And it would be impossible to ride upon the solidly built and efficiently equipped railroads of our State without being impressed with the fact that the 40,000,000 of passengers carried and the 30,000,000 tons of freight transported in 1888, at fair and remunerative rates, together with an incidental glance at the market value of the stocks of our railroads, that the geographical situation of New Jersey was most happily placed in the original mapping out of the boundary lines at the time of the creation of the sisterhood of States.
WORK OF THE BOARD.
The values placed upon the various railroad properties for the assessment of January ist, 1889, were to a great extent based upon data which had been obtained for the report of 1888; full returns of which had been called for, as appears in the report of the Board for that year. After completing the assessment and filing the same with the Comptroller of the Treasury as required by law, the Board proceeded to make a careful personal inspection of the properties, and are pleased to be able to state that the entire Board, accompanied by the Governor, the Comptroller and the Treasurer, went over almost every mile of railroad within the State. The beneficial results of this investigation will be more particularly observed in the consideration of the coming year's report and valuations. It is the opinion of the Board that a careful personal inspection should be made by the members of the Board, especially of all new improvements and additions each year. The increase in transportation, the rapid building up of suburban business in New Jersey, incidental to the great cities of New York and Philadelphia, have required and will require in the future much improved facilities for transportation. Among the great improvements of this character which have recently been completed may be mentioned : very substantial, commodious and convenient passenger stations and car-houses at the termini of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, at Hoboken ; the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad, at Long Dock, and the Central Railroad of New Jersey, at Jersey City, the latter structure being of an unusually substantial character, and constructed of the very best materials. The improvements in the freight termini have been most marked, particularly in the case of the Lehigh Valley's terminus on the North river, at Jersey City. Vast amounts of filling of lands under water, the construction of docks, etc., preparatory to the establishment of terminal facilities for this company, are under way. The commodious yard and roundhouse of the Pennsylvania Railroad, close to the Bergen Cut, are nearly completed. The elevation of the tracks of the same company through Jersey City is in progress. And at various other points in the State the necessity for increased facilities because of increased business, both freight and passenger, are causing the various companies to prepare for still greater improvements in the future. All of which entails additional labors upon the Board in order to arrive at the proper valuation to be placed upon properties which are eliminated from the local taxing bureaus and for the purposes of taxation placed under the charge of the Board. It is proper, however, to state that the Board is facilitated in its labors by the promptness with which the officers of the railroads of the State, when called upon, furnish the necessary information and reports. It has become necessary, in order to comply with the law and certify the assessments to the State Comptroller upon the first day of December of each year, to require the railroad and canal corporations to submit their reports to the Board within the time prescribed by the act. And it is hoped that hereafter the railroad companies will see the importance of a strict compliance with the act in this particular. The assessment of 1888, as reported to the Legislature, was :