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The road passes directly through and near a large number of manufacturing villages, there being within five miles of the road, 75 cotton mills and 27 woollen mills, exclusive of Norwich and Worcester.
The cotton mills in New London and Windham counties embrace more than three-fourths of all the cotton manufacture of the State, as shown by official returns.
In Worcester county there are 74 cotton mills, containing 124,000 spindles, manufacturing cotton goods of the value of $1,991,024-and 66 woolen mills, manufacturing 3,748,852 lbs. of wool into cloth, of the value of $3,695,321-452,310 pairs of boots, and 2,357,431 pairs of shoes, of the value of $2,791,298-147,240 hides, of the value of $387,038-129,710 axes, $119,825-chairs and cabinet furniture, $321,100-straw bonnets, $118,971-palm leaf hats, $411,554. Total value of aticles manufactured in Worcester county, more than $12,000,000.
The manufacturers in that county, of cotton, wool, hides, paper, iron castings, scythes, axes, cutlery, chairs and cabinet furniture, combs, ploughs tin ware and tanneries, number 456.
Amount of sperm oil consumed in woollen mills, 61,329 gallons.
The whole amount of manufactures in that county being, in one year, more than $12,000,000. The statistics, in detail, of the towns in Connecticut, cannot be accurately ascertained, but it is believed that a similar examination in New London and Windham counties, would show a similar result.
In the collection district of New London, which embraces the town of Norwich, there were, Dec. 31, 1838, three hundred and thirty-nine vessels, of 28,10833 tonnage, of the value of $1,250,000. The extent of intercourse between such a section of county and the cities of Boston and New York, fully justify the belief, that there will be a large amount of business in the transportation of passengers and goods to and from those citiesAnd the experience of all other avenues of travel and transport would indicate still larger returns from the border and local business.
The union with the Western railroad at Worcester, will be highly advantageous to both railroads.
This road will, in connection with the steamboats, furnish a cheap, expeditious, and desirable route to and from New York, for a large portion of the inhabitants of New Hampshire, and a part of Vermont.
In addition to its furnishing, in connection with the Boston and Worcester railroad and steamboats from Norwich, as desirable a route as any other between Boston and New York for passengers, it will it is supposed be entitled to receive a portion of the business connected with the transportation of goods between these two cities.
There will be no transhipment of the goods except at Norwich where it can be made with the greatest ease, and without truckage.
The navigation of the Thames and Long Island Sound, to New York, is unusually safe, so much so that the most prudent persons effect no insurance. And it is believed, that with perhaps one exception, there has been no loss of goods for thirty years, in the regular packets between Norwich and New York, which, if all insured, an insurance company would have been obliged to pay.
The charge for passengers between Norwich and Worcester, is fixed at 82-and the charge per ton for merchandise generally, from Norwich to Worcester, is $3.50, and from Worcester to Norwich, $3.
The charge for passengers between Boston and Norwich, is, by agreement of both corporations, fixed at $3-and the charge by steamboat, by
the existing arrangement, which it is supposed will continue to New York, is 82-making the passenger fare between Boston and New York, 85.
The charge for merchandise generally, over both railroads, from Boston to Norwich, will be $5 per ton.
It will be perceived that the foregoing rates of charge are unusually low and the directors have deemed for the interest of the stockholders, as well as for the public, that they should be so.
The accounts of the company have been duly examined by the commissioners appointed under the charters.
By the books of the treasurer, it appears that the amount of funds received into the treasury of the company, from all sources, to the 31st December, 1839, is $1,360,600, and the expenditures to the same time, to the sum of $1,360,527 27. A statement showing the amount of the expenditures under the different heads, is contained in the report of the commissioners, which is appended to this report, and constitutes a part of it.
By the foregoing statements, it is hoped it will be apparent that the public, as well as the stockholders of the company, well be benefited by the opening of this railroad. If the success should attend it which is now promised and expected, the directors will feel themselves fully repaid for a large amount of gratuitous labor in the service of the company.
No motive has operated more strongly upon the minds of the directors, amid the most serious discouragements and obstacles, than to fulfil, in behalf of the company, the engagements which were made to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, when her Legislature furnished the timely and essential aid of her credit for the sum of $400,000. These engagements we now believe are fulfiled. The road is substantially finished, in many respects in a better manner, in no respect inferior, to what was then promised, and for comparatively a very moderate cost.
It is the design of the company, at the same time that they do what is necessary for the preservation of the road, and the advantageous and convenient use of it, to practise the utmost frugality in relation to the expenses of the company.
All which is respectfully submitted. John A. Rockwell, John Breed, Russell Hubbard, Ralph Bolles, Jedediah Huntington, Thos. Robinson, Directors.
FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE TAUNTON BRANCH RAILROAD COR
To the Honorable Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The directors of the Taunton branch railroad corporation, do hereby make the fifth annual report of their acts and doings, receipts and expenditures.
On November 1, 1839, a contract was entered into between this corporation and the New Bedford and Taunton railroad corporation, a copy of which is hereto annexed, and made part of this report.
The total amount of capital paid in, is
The Expenditures during the year ending November 30, 1839, have
Amount of repairs on the engines and cars,
Miscellaneous expenses, including the amount paid to the
portion of the receipts,
Expenses incurred in the construction of the road,
Total amount of expenditures,
The receipts during the year ending November 30, 1839, have been as follows:
Amount received for the transportation of passengers,
Two dividends of three per cent. each have been made, sayable on July 1, 1839, and January 1, 1840, respectively, amounting in the aggregate to the sum of
$15,000 00 All which is respectfully submitted, Thomas B. Wales, Samuel Frothingham, Samuel Quincy, William A. Crocker, Directors.
FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE WESTERN RAILROAD CORPORATION.
To the Honorable Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
On the 1st day of January, 1839, under which date our third annual report was submitted, the grading of the road, eastward of Connecticut river, was nearly completed-the bridges were in construction, the iron and timber for the superstructure were purchased,-six miles of the track were laid down, the engines and cars were under contract.-the depot lands were secured, and the damages for land and fencing were liquidated and principally paid. The directors at that time expressed an opinion, that the road-bed would be ready for the rails by May succeeding, and that if no unforseen obstacle interposed, the whole of this part of the line would be in successful operation by the first of October last.
This anticipation was realized. The grading, masonry, bridging, su perstructure and depot buildings were sufficiently completed, the engines and cars were delivered, and the road opened for the conveyance of pussengers, on the first day of October, and it has continued in operation to the present time.
Regular merchandise trains were established on the 23d October, and they have been continued to this date.
Throughout the greater part of the road, it is graded for a single track only; and but one track has been laid down, with the exception of the necessary turn-outs at the nine stations. The engineers, at an early period, recommended the grading of the entire line for a double track. But under the uncertainty then existing, of procuring funds for the completion of the whole road, the directors, upon full consideration, deemed it prudent to order the grading generally for one track; at the same time giving the engineers discretionary power, as to the cuts, embankments, and bridges, to make them of such width and construction, as should best subserve the interests of the corporation and the public, taking into account the contingency of a double track hereafter."
Under this authority, the deep cuts, the heavy embankments, and the masonry and bridges have been constructed of the full width for a double track.
The exact length of the line, from the junction with the Boston and Worcester road, to the east bank of the Connecticut river, is fifty-four miles
184 rods. The intermediate distances are given in a table hereto annexed.
In the construction of this part of the road, the directors have endeavored to make a permanent and substantial structure. Great pains have been taken to reinove from the road-bed, all materials which would be seriously affected by frost, and to supply their place with gravel or sand. The superstructure is of the most substantial character; and the masonry will not suffer in comparison with that of any other road in the country. In the erection of depot buildings, and the construction of cars and engines, the board have consulted usefulness, conveni nce and durability, with little regard to ornament or show. And with the short experience which they have had, the undersigned are satisfied, that these objects have all been accomplished; and they are happy to congratulate the stockholders and the community upon the successful result of their labors thus far.
Although the road was sufficiently completed to be open for use on the 1st day of October last, many parts of it were so unfinished as to require some force to be kept upon the construction nearly to the present time; and it is not now found practicable to state the exact cost of this portion of the line. This will be presented in a future report, together with such other information as is required by law.
The accounts for these expenditures are, however, principally liquidated and paid. And it is believed, that an estimate, generally correct, may now be made, of such claims as are yet out-standing. Upon this basis, the following will be found to be a nearly correct statement of the cost of the road east of the river. But it must be borne in mind, that these items may be varied when the final statement is given.
Graduation, masonry, bridging and superstructure, for
54 m. 3036 ft.
Turn-out and depot, do..
2 1310 ft.
or 56 ms.
Engineer department, surveys, instruments, etc., for four
8 engines, 5 long passenger cars, 10 short do., 2 forward do., 3 baggage do., 50 merchandise do. 40 gravel do. and 3 hand do.,
Depot buildings for nine stations, furniture, aqueducts wells, machine shop, &c.,
Land damages and fencing,
D pot lands at 9 stations, about 18 acres,
Miscellaneous expenses, including salaries, printing, station
ary, office rents and expenses, clerk hire, collecting assessments, postages, &c.,
Total east of river,
Being about $36,135 per mile.
The estimate for this part of the road, made in December, 1838, was
Surplus cost above estimates,
This excess above the estimates, being a little less than six per cent., is not caused by the extra cost of the items actually estimated; for, except in one or two cases of small amount, these in fact, have not cost more than was anticipated. But the principal difference arises, in the first place, from
the fact, that at the time the estimates were made, the work of graduation was in progress, and the cuts were in a rough sate, and could not be measured with any great degree of accuracy. The quantities returned as excavated, were deduced in most cases, from the previous monthly estimates, and the estimates were put upon it according to those results. Since it has been completed, it has all been re-measured for the final settlements, and it is now ascertained that the quantity of materials excavated, much exceeds that actually estimated.
In the next place, as the work has advanced, it has been found necessary and economical, in order to accommodate the business of the road, to procure larger quantities of many articles for its equipment than were supposed necessary; to increase the number and size of the buildings at the depots, to add to them expensive aqueducts and fixtures, and to enlarge some of the bridges. The length of the track, including turnout and depot tracks proves also to be about eight-tenths of a mile more than was estimated for -the wheels and springs of the cars are more substantial and expensive than was originally intended and in one or two cases, the cost of grading a section has been necessarily enhanced in consequence of the failure of the contractor, and his inability to finish his work.
The following is a statement of the principal items of cost not estimated, viz:
Excess of excavation above estimates-addition to bridges -increased length of track, and improved switches, and extra cost of finishing a small part of the grading, Additional number of cars, and improved wheels for the whole,
Increased number and size of buildings, and addition of aqueducts and fixtures,
Additional quantity of land purchased for the depots since the estimates,
And in view of these expenditures, it should, be borne in mind, that the depot arrangements at Springfield are designed, and are on a sufficiently extensive scale, to afford the necessary accommodation for the business of the road west of the river. The same remark applies to the machine shop tools and fixtures, and in part also to the engines and cars already provided. The whole of the expensive depot arrangements at Springfield, will be as necessary to the western as to the eastern portion of the road and, the cost of them ought in fact to be apportioned upon both sections of the line equally.
At the date of the last report to the Legislature, the whole line of the road westward of Connecticut river, a distance of 62.6 miles, had been definitely located, with the exception of a few miles in Westfield and the south part of Russel-about 34 miles of the western part of it had been under contract for grading from March, 1838, and excepting ten miles immediately east of Pittsfield, the work had been commenced in June and July succeeding, and was then in successful progress.
In March, 1839, the board, after a full and personal examination by a committee, directed the definite location of the road through Westfield and the south part of Russell, to be made entirely upon the northerly side of the Westfield great river, and as near the village of Westfield as was prac ticable without two crossings of the river.
Early in the last season, the grading was commenced upon the 10 miles