R A I L W A Y A N D I N D U S T R I A L S ECT I ON OF T HE C o mme r c ia l & F i n a n c i a l £|h r o wic l e . Enterwl according to A o t o f Oonarmw in the ve ir 1907, hv Wi l m a * H i ap*a (V*h p \h v , m the ottle«of Librarian o f iTonstress, Washlnifton. I» Vol. 85. N E W Y O R K , J U L Y 2 7 , 1 9 0 7 . N o. 2196 R a i l w a y a n d I n d u s t r i a l S e c t i o n T he R ailway and I ndustrial S ection, issued quarterly on the las
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  RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL SECTION OF THE C ommercial  & F inancial  £| hrowicle . Enterwl according to Aotof Oonarmw in the ve>ir 1907, hv W ilma * H i > ap * a  (V* hp \ hv ,  m the ottle«of Librarian of iTonstress, Washlnifton. I»  Vol. 85. NEW YORK, JULY 27, 1907. No. 2196 R ailway   and  I ndustrial  S ection The Railway and Industrial Section, issued quarterly on the last Satur day of January, April, July and October, is furnished without extra charge    to every annual subscriber of the Commercial and Financial Chronicle.The State and City Section, issued semi-annually on the last Saturday   of May and November, is also furnished without extra charge   to every   subscriber of the Chronicle.The Street Railway Section, issued three times a year, in February,   June and October, is likewise furnished without extra charge   to every   Chronicle subscriber.The Bank and Quotation Section, issued monthly, is also furnished   without extra charge   to every subscriber of the Chronicle.ãTerms for the Chronicle, including the four Supplements above named,   are Ten Dollars per annum within the United States, Thirteen Dollars (which includes postage) in Europe, and $11.50 in Canada. File covers of the Chronicle are sold at 50 cents each; postage on the   same is 18 cents. File covers for Supplements can be had at same price.CHICAGO OFFICE—Pliny Bartlett, 513 Monadnock Block.LONDON OFFICE—Edwards & Smith, 1 Drapers’ Gardens, E.C.WILLIAM B. DANA COMPANY Publishers,Pine Street, corner of Pearl Street,Post Office Box, 058. New York.  NEW YORK IMPROVEMENTS OF THE    PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD. The work which the Pennsylvania Railroad is now doing in the vicinity of New York is on so big a scale and embraces so many divisions and ramifications that it is not very well understood. The main parts of it are capable of division into three groups; first, the tunneling of the Hudson River, the establishment of a terminal on Manhattan Island for passenger traffic and the co-ordination of the Jersey City lines to that end; second, the electrification of portions of the Long Island Railroad, and building the East River tunnels and the tunnel connection with the general passenger terminal in New York; third, the Greenville freight terminal and the New York connecting railroad, by means of which freight for New England points will be ferried across the upper bay to Bay Ridge and then hauled by rail around Brooklyn and across the Hell Gate Bridge to a connection with the Harlem River branch of the New York New Haven &  Hartford. Certain other pieces of work, of first-rate magnitude in themselves, but minor in comparison with these three primary ones, are included in the general plan.Chronologically speaking, the first link in the chain was the acquisition of control of the Long Island Rail road by majority stock purchase in May 1900. The Long Island Railroad is still operated as a separate company, but is officered by Pennsylvania appointees and worked as a. component part of the system. Its defect under former administrations was that it was a one-season road; furthermore, its Brooklyn entrance at grade on Atlantic Avenue was a highly dangerous thing, necessitating very slow train movement between Flatbush Avenue and Jamaica. The remainder of the system was characterized by dense suburban travelin the summer months to the beaches and other sum mer resorts within a radius of thirty miles or so, sup plemented by long-haul traffic to the end of the island and intermediate points. Except for a certain amount of garden-truck business, the freight traffic was and is of little consequence, and has many of the charac teristics of express business. It was necessary to pro vide a large amount of equipment for the summer travel, and much of this equipment had to lie idle in the winter months. In short, the road had to run at a loss for eight months every year in order to make a profit in June, July, August and September.The Pennsylvania management grasped this prob lem boldly. The Long Island Railroad, for their pur poses, was to be a suburban commuters’ road, not a summer road, and was to share directly in the benefits accruing to transportation companies on account of the growth of New York and the overcrowding of Manhattan Island. But to accomplish this, to start the stream of commutation travel flowing in that direction and to make it a profitable business for the company to handle after it succeeded in getting it, great improvements were necessary, involving a tre mendous capital expenditure that must wait several years for its return. As a commentary on the popular prejudice against large corporations, it may be noted that a task of this magnitude could never have been accomplished by a small corporation.It was necessary to electrify the short-haul suburban territory in order to handle economically a largely increased traffic varying greatly between winter and summer; and in order to afford proper connection with the tunnel lines and the Atlantic Avenue line. This latter had to be taken off grade and a proper terminal built for it at Flatbush Avenue, to connect ultimately with the Battery tunnels. This much of the work is completed, except for the terminal; but further sub urban electrification will doubtless be done from season to season, according to the needs of the traffic. Work on the East River tunnels, to afford direct rail connec tion with Thirty-third Street, Manhattan, is well in hand, although serious difficulties have from time to time been experienced with blow-outs, owing to the nature of the river bottom. Contracts for building these tunnels were given to S. Pearson &  Son in March 1904 calling for two entirely distinct double-track tubes, to be carried across the river parallel to each other and 37 feet apart, centre to centre. At the west line of Fifth Avenue the tracks are spread out into two three-track tunnels, one under Thirty-second Street and the other under Thirty-third Street.  6 RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL SECTION [V  ol . lxxxv .  An officer of the Pennsylvania Railroad* not long ago published statistics showing that while the popu lation density of London, England, was 38,498 in habitants per square mile, and the density of the Borough of Manhattan was 99,148 per square mile, and that of the Borough of Brooklyn 18,097, the popu lation of the Borough of Queens was only 1,618 in habitants per square mile. In other words, the dense population of Manhattan, struggling to find a place to live within easy commutation distance, has made very little use as yet of the immediate territory which the Pennsylvania East River tunnels and the western end of the Long Island Railroad system will serve. If the new system of communications can be made to supplement or in part take the place of the work done by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, as re gards density of commutation movement to and from the places of business, the Pennsylvania Railroad need have no fear about the ultimate return on its invest ment; and this situation—this gap in density of popu lation to be filled from the overflowing sources else where—and the constant new development has un doubtedly been the moving cause in this very large venture. To take a street car from Thirty-third Street and Seventh Avenue to the present Long Island ferry, to ferry across the river, walk through the train-shed and get on board a train lacks the psychological attraction to the commuter of the much easier and much quicker route by way of an electric car which shall run direct from suburban stations on the Long Island road to the Thirty-third Street terminal; and there can be but little doubt that this easy way into and out of a crowded city will build up a traffic to Long Island points, especially near-by Long Island points, all out of proportion to that which now exists. For the present, of course, the Long Island Railroad must continue paying heavier fixed charges each year and not showing a proportionate gain until the tun nels can be finally completed and the through route put in operation, but the project bears rich promise for the future, and is a striking instance of the courage and far-sightedness of the Pennsylvania Railroad.The project of the Hudson River tunnels is to be explained in part by this same motive of furnishing a better and quicker route for dense suburban travel, and thereby inducing additional suburban travel to follow the route offered. The solution long proposed for the North River situation was a bridge, but the idea of this was abandoned partly on account of its great cost and partly because the different railroad companies arriving at the west bank of the Hudson River opposite New York could not agree among them selves to become joint partners in the enterprise. It was finally decided by the Pennsylvania interests to build their own tunnel, and with this in view the Penn sylvania New Jersey &  New York Railroad was incor porated in 1902 in New Jersey to build from a point near Newark to and under Weehawken and the Hudson River to a point on the boundary line between New Jersey and New York. A New York concern known as the Pennsylvania New York & Long Island was in corporated shortly afterwards to build from a junction with the New Jersey tunnel to the Seventh Avenue terminus and on across Manhattan Island and under the East River to a connection with the Long Island Railroad in the Borough of Queens. The franchise re ãA. J. County. quired that the tunnel company should complete its construction within five years. The average com pensation per year which the tunnel company will pay the City of New York for the first 25 years is about $64,000 a year. At the close of that period the question of compensation is to be taken up again. At the present time the iron tubes for these two North River tunnels have been laid and finishing work is being done upon them. Much remains to be done at the New York terminal and on the New Jersey side, where it is proposed to electrify the suburban district so that electric trains run through the tunnels may move to their destination within suburban territory without change of motive power. But the hardest and heaviest work on both the North River and the East River projects has been completed, and it will only be a short time relatively before the tunnel sys tems across both rivers are in operation. The effect of this suburban improvement work on both sides of Manhattan Island, across the respective rivers, and of the excellent through connections established, can only be guessed at, as there is unfortunately no way of measuring future travel along traffic lines as yet undeveloped; but it seems wholly within the limits of possibility that the suburban extension which has so actively characterized the Bronx within the last four or five years may take a new direction, and that both the Long Island and the New Jersey suburban terri tory, brought materially nearer the heart of Manhattan Island in point of time, may develop accordingly.These two projects, that of the Hudson River tun nels and of the East River tunnels and Long Island improvement, are designed for passenger traffic en tirely. The third project, that of the New York Connecting Railroad, is not primarily concerned with passenger traffic, but is a device for avoiding terminal congestion and for facilitating the movement of through freight around New York City. The New York Con necting Railroad will be 12 miles long. At Green ville, southeast of Jersey City on the upper bay, piers have been built and a channel dredged to accommodate a car-float ferry directly across the bay to the Brooklyn side at Bay Ridge, avoiding the congested docks and the crowded condition of river traffic around Man hattan Island. Freight trains will branch off from the present line at Waverley, N. J., within the city limits of Newark, and will run on a structure built across the shallow waters of Newark Bay to Green ville. The new part of the Connecting Railroad runs through the northern part of the Borough of Brooklyn and the western part of the Borough of Queens to Port Morris, N. Y., crossing the East River at Ward’s and Randall’s Islands over a very remarkable sus pension bridge. The bridge and the approaches are in reality a series of bridges of many different types, with a total length of over three miles, and the main channel arch over Hell Gate will have a clear span of 1,000 feet, and will be the largest single-span arch structure of its kind in the world, being more than 200 feet longer than the arch over the gorge at Niagara, and designed for much heavier loads. As seen in the preliminary drawing, the structure will be very massive and of considerable beauty, quite unlike either the Williamsburg Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge or the proposed Manhattan Bridge in its style of construction.Without going into the details of the rather com plicated and very discreditable city politics which  J uly , 1907.J RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL SECTION. delayed this project for several years, it may be stated briefly that in the face of rapidly rising land values the Pennsylvania Railroad Company stood out flatly against a direct offer of a franchise for a corruption price, and finally obtained its privileges cleanly and above board, to the discomfiture of the New York Board of Alderman,and, it must be frankly admitted, to the largely increased cost of the work. The battle fought was a notable one, ending in the loss by the alder man of their former rights to grant privileges of this sort.No plans with regard to passenger development on the New York Connecting Railroad have been announ ced, and it is doubtful if the passenger features of this line are to be given first-class importance, at least for a number of years. Whether or not the Pennsylvania attempted to secure control of the New York New Haven & Hartford some years ago with a view to bringing its trains into the Seventh Avenue terminal, cannot be definitely stated. At all events, control of the New England property did not pass from its for mer owners. It is in fact so widely spread through- ont the New England States that it is to all intents and purposes out of reach. It is distinctly possible that an arrangement might be made through which certain New Haven trains should run into the Penn sylvania terminal and that there might be an extension of the through passenger service now represented by the Colonial and Federal expresses which for many years have been carried on car-floats from the Harlem River Branch of the New Haven road to Jersey City. These trains will doubtless find an all-rail route when the Connecting Railroad is completed.There are several important points to be considered in regard to the broad plan which has been outlined. Of the three projects, two deal very largely with com mutation service, as has been mentioned. Commuta tion service by itself has been a very questionable source of income to the railroads in this country and in England as well, and the assertion has often been made that by itself it did not pay, although it brought many profitable results along with it. But strictly suburban service, like that of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, pays extremely well unless capital costs are so high that fixed charges eat up the profits.  As compared with the existing suburban lines in New  York City, the capitalization of this new Pennsyl vania improvement work is going to be very moderate, while the physical details of construction, embodying electrification of suburban lines and well planned re ceiving and distributing grounds are as good as the best engineering talent in the country could devise. What the Pennsylvania has set out to do, therefore, is to make a profit out of a branch of service which has often been unprofitable and to do so by virtue of far-sighted plans and the application of the highest engineering talent. It has been pointed out that land values and labor costs are increasing so rapidly that it was of the utmost importance that a project of this sort should not be delayed, and the Pennsylvania management believes that the work which it is doing to-day would be almost out of reach ten years from now, for financial reasons.In addition to the possible earnings from short-haul traffic, it must also be considered that the prestige which tbe New York terminal arrangements will bring to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company will be tre mendous, so that it can count not only on commutationfares but also on a constantly increasing share of through traffic west from New York. As a technical detail, the separation of passenger and freight traffic by the device of the New York Connecting Railroad is admirable, at the same time that it is daring, involving an enormous capital cost; but it is coming more and more to be recognized that in crowded localities it is absolutely essential that these two kinds of traffic be kept apart. It appears, therefore, that the manage ment has taken into consideration not only present facts but also future ones. The results of the gigantic experiment must necessarily be watched with the keen est interest on both sides of the Atlantic. No similar problem has ever been attempted and there is much that is experimental as well as much that is magnifi cent about the scope of the work at hand.  INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENTS. It is a curious commentary upon the state of the public mind that throughout the mass of railroad legislation which has been enacted this year, covering almost every conceivable subject from 2-cent fares and reciprocal demurrage to carrying passengers in the cabooses of freight trains, almost no attention has been paid to one matter which falls quite properly and naturally under the functions of government. The record of our railroads has always been blemished by the frequency with which accidents occur, yet in our 60 years of railroad development we have neg lected what may well be called the primary measure looking towards a reduction of accidents, and that is a careful and systematic inquiry into their causes.When an accident occurs in this country the atten tion that is paid to it varies directly according to its proximity to a large city. If the accident occurs in a thickly settled part of the country and is what may be termed an important one, involving loss of life, great excitement is created and independent investigations are pretty sure to be made by five separate parties in interest: the Coroner, the State Railroad Commission, the District Attorney, the officers of the road and the newspapers. The result of this tangled series of so- called investigations, all proceeding at the same time, is just what might be expected. The verdicts of the Coroner and of the State Railroad Commission and the -action taken by the District Attorney occur at widely separated periods and the conclusions formed are often widely different. It would be possible to cite not merely a few but a very large number of serious  American accidents which to this day remain either entirely unexplained or else have been explained in so contradictory a fashion by the respective powers that nothing useful can be gained from the explanations.The fundamental hindrance to the American in vestigation of accidents is the widespread underlying belief that the investigation should necessarily result in the punishment of somebody. If gross negligence causes an accident it is well enough that it should be punished, but that is not the main thing. It is far more important to learn how a similar accident can be avoided in the future than it is to send anybody to prison for damage already done. The spirit of ven geance, of course, is enormously fostered by the news papers, which exploit the wrecks which occur, for motives so purely selfish, that it is amazing how great an influence they wield and how much they can ob struct actual progress towards better practice. It  8 RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL SECTION. [V  ol . lxxxy . happens often that a railroad officer is convinced, as the result of an accident, that he has been making use of bad practice in some particular of his roadbed, signals or equipment; yet he is frankly afraid to ac knowledge it while under supervision by a swarm of newspaper reporters,who will misquote him, miscon strue his motives and damage his reputation and the reputation of his road.It is well worth while to study the methods of acci dent investigation which are in use in England, for the reason that they substitute one co-ordinated examina tion, made jointly by the officers of the Government and the officers of the railroad, for the entangled con test of wits which occurs in this country, while British public opinion, which is far more critical, day in and day out, than American public opinion is, is quite satisfied with the findings and the press has but little comment to make except along lines suggested by the Government board.The police powers which the British Government exercises over its railways for the preservation of public safety find their chief expression in two ways: first, in the requirement, dating back to the Regulation of the Railways Act of 1842, that every company shall give notice to the Board of Trade of its intention to open for passenger traffic any railroad or section of a railroad; and, second, in the Act of 1871, which re quires all railway companies to give notice to the department of any accident which may occur in or about the railroad or any works or buildings connected therewith. In 1889 an Act was passed placing upon the Board of Trade (which in England is a branch of the Government) the responsibility of seeing that all British railways which carry passengers should be block-signaled,should interlock switches and signals, and should fit all passenger trains with “continuous brakes.” Under these three enactments, therefore, the Board of Trade inspectors are able to supervise very thoroughly the safety of British railway working.There is no statutory procedure laid down for the way in which an inquiry shall take place,and inquiries are conducted in the manner that seems best suited to the circumstances of the case; but it is generally customary for the inspecting officer or officers first to visit the scene of the accident and investigate all the circum stances of the disaster as carefully as possible. Ad  journment is then taken to a place where the testi mony of witnesses with the scene still fresh in their minds can be held, and this evidence is taken down verbatim. The proceeding is strictly that of an inquiry court and is not bound by the proceedings of a law court or by the rules of evidence. It is distinctly understood that the purpose of this inquiry is not to punish anybody, but is to prevent a recurrence of the accident. If there has been criminal negligence it is dealt with separately by the regular processes of the law and not by the Board of Trade. After the inspector making the inquiry has satisfied himself that there is no more information to be got, he compiles a report as best he can, which is printed in the usual form of British “blue books,” and is pre sented to Parliament, to the newspapers and to the railway companies concerned. The inspector has no occasion to be hasty in his judgment; he is not moved by temporary excitement, because he has been making the same kind of investigations for a great many years. He has had abundant opportunity to observe all kinds of railway practice, both good and bad, and if he finds bad practice and decides that it is responsible for the wreck which occurred, he says so very plainly, and it is incumbent upon the railway company tomake whatever changes he suggests. The railway officers and the Board of Trade inspectors work to gether in perfect harmony, helping each other instead of hindering each other, which, unfortunately, is not the case with rival inspecting parties in this country. The result of all this is that the inspector’s report is straightforward and dignified without attempt at theatrical^effect. Not infrequently he says frankly that he does not know what occasioned the accident , although he can generally find useful suggestions to make for the future; but the public has the utmost confidence that if anything really wrong had been found the fact would be made known by the inspecting body and steps would be taken to prevent its recur rence, and the confidence thus created has been one of the most wholesome effects of the inspections.It happened more or less by chance that the first inspecting officers to be appointed came from the army, because at the time of their appointment in the year 1840 there was no body of railway men available from which the advisers of the Government could be drawn. The civil engineering profession was not well organized at that period and the military engineers obviously offered the best field from which to choose. The plan has worked well in practice. The inspectors are of high standing in the community, have no political affiliations and are above suspicion as to their dis interestedness.It is well worthy of considering whether some such plan could not be tried with great advantage in this country. The duty of inspection should not, we believe, be placed upon the Inter-State Commerce Commission, a body already much over-burdened. It will be noted that the Railway and Canal Commis sion in Great Britain, which bears a rough analogy to our Inter-State Commerce Commission, is not charged with this duty of inspection. The new public service law of New York State provides that each commission shall see to it that common carriers furnish service and facilities which shall be safe and adequate; also that the commission shall keep informed as to the general condition of the railways within the State with respect to adequacy and security, and that each commission shall investigate the cause of all accidents within its districts which result in loss of life or injury to persons or property, and which, in its judgment, shall require investigation. Common carriers are compelled to give immediate notice to the commission of any accident that occurs and the commission is authorized after a hearing to make and serve an order directing repairs, improvements, changes or additions which it may think necessary.There is no doubt, therefore, that the authority of the commissions in New York is ample. Whether or not in their enormous and onerous duties they will have anything like time to perform this function properly is quite another matter. England and New  York State are roughly comparable as to size, yet the inspection of new works and investigations of acci dents keep the British inspection board busy, although that board is not encumbered by the dreadful com plexities of traffic regulation which are placed upon the New York commissions.Entirely upon grounds of efficiency, therefore, and without regard to political considerations, it would seem advisable that accident investigation should pro ceed from some other source than that of the authority of a State railway commission. At the close of the all-pervading present day spirit of corporation regula tion it may well be that the conservative English plan will be found to be the best.
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