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$ 122,311 78 $ 271,749 52 Deduct estimated actual outlay for
transporting 3,300 tons of iron, wooden rails and mud-sills, at $150 per ton,
Leaving nett profits,
$154,537 74 The expenses of the road, as anticipated, are greater than they were last year, in consequence of higher wages paid for labor, and the increased business of the road, together with the necessity of substituting larger axles for many of those first put under the cars. The excess of down freight over the up, compared with the previous year, has also added to the expenses a greater per centage than to the receipts. The difference, however, is only 3 per cent. The expenses
3 last year being 40 per cent of the receipts, and this year 43 per cent.
If we take the number of miles run by the trains to perform the year's business, the comparison shows favorably with any previous period. The following statement gives it for the last two years :
1841. 1845. Conducting Transportation per mile run, cents,
16.50 Motive Power,
14.70 Maintenance of Cars,
06.75 Maintenance of Way,
2). Total, The transportation on the road, including iron and lumber for the extension, and exclusive of materials for repairs of road, &c., is equal 10 2,352,896 tons carried one mile. Exclusive of materials for the extension, it is 2,022,896 tons; which gives the cost of transportation, dividing the expenses between the passenger and freight trains according to the distance run by each, on the main line, and calling the Athens train a freight train, three and one-quarter cents per ton per mile. The cost of transporting passengers (making due allowance for the mails) is two and one-third cents per passenger per mile. The cost of transportation, per ton and per passenger, here given as the deduction from our past year's business, is not to be taken as a criterion of the cost of carriage on railroads. This is mainly dependant upon the amount and character of the business done; and without a knowledge of these facts, no comparison can be made with other works. With double the amount of freight, our expenses would probably not have exceeded two cents per ton per mile; and if it had been received in such quantities as to have ensured loaded trails each way, one and one-half cents per ton would have covered expenses.
The cost of keeping up the road, estimating the average length of road in use during the year, at 155 miles, is $290.60 per mile. Last year it was $260 per mile for 1474 miles then in operation. The length of road now in use, including 43 miles of branches, is 173 miles. When the entire line is completed it will be 2144 miles. The cost of keeping up the road for the last two years, is below what we
may expect as an average rate. But I do not believe that it will, at any time, exceed $350 per mile, unless occasioned by some extraordinary casualties, or the necessity of greatly increasing the speed of our trains, when it will be important to keep the track in more perfect adjustment.
The charges upon the books of the Bank, against the business of the road, up to this date, May 1, 1945, are
$ 179,612 23 The actual expenses, (including the transportation of iron,) are
$ 57,300 45 Which is accounted for by materials furnished and work done for the road, at the shops, as follows: Cars built previously to April 1st, 1844, and not charged,
$ 4,691 99 34 Burden Cars built since April 1st, 1844,
17,750 00 Extension of Machine Shop 70 feet,
1,158 30 Extension of road-- Alcovy Bridge,
3,567 31 Wood's Mill Bridge,
739 15 Bolts, Spikes, &c.,
961 26 Superstructure,
244 31 Materials on hand, for repairs of road and for car and engine work, at shops, purchased since April 1s, 1844,
24,900 29 Disbursements to date, on account of business of 1815 and '46
Amount as above,
$ 57,300 45 The unusually large amount of materials on hand, consists in a great measure of car wheels and bar and pig iron, which was purchased in view of an anticipated rise in these items, and which could not now be replaced without an additional outlay of several thousand dollars.
The stock of cars on the road on the 1st of April, 1844, was, 6 passenger cars, 47 close, and 41 open burden cars. We now have the same number of passenger cars, 66 close, and 56 open burden cars. Orders have been given to construct two more passenger and 50 close burden cars, to be ready for the opening of the business upon the Western and Atlantic Railroad. This number will be further increased with the demands for their use.
We have also ordered two additional freight locomotives to be delivered during the ensuing summer. These will increase the number of our engines to fourteen, which we think will be sufficient to do the next winter's business.
The business of the road has exceeded that of last year, $23,653 08, of which the increase on up freight is $2,372 02; on down freight, $11,721 41; on passengers, $6,749 33, and mails, $2,810 32. From this exhibit it will be perceived that, notwithstanding many of our old customers have been attracted to new channels of transportation, we have been steadily drawing from other sections of the country a trade that has more than compensated for their loss. We should not, however, rest satisfied without making some efforts to remove or modify the difficulties which have caused in many instances a diversion of our trade. These difficulties arise mainly from the imperfect connexion between the eastern terminus of our road and the sea board. Upon the Charleston route, the drayage at both ends of their road is excessive, but particularly so at this end; and from the circumstance that it comes immediately under the notice of the interior merchants, who frequently remain in Augusta to forward their goods, is particularly objectionable to them.
Whether any modification of the present system can be brought about, I am unable to state; but it seems to me incumbent upon our company, either to make some efforts to modify the objections complained of, or endeavor to make an arrangement which will insure a more perfect communication between this city and Savannah. The transportation upon the river is now not only dependant upon the stage of the water, but the freight lists of the Steamboat Companies exhibit rates for heavy articles especially on those of little valuewhich, when compared with similar charges on rivers whose navigation is not more perfect than that of the Savannah, may be considered extravagant.
Upon the Ohio river, between Pittsburg and Cincinnati, a distance three times further than from Augusta to Savannah, the rates are only one-half of those on the Savannah, or one-sixth of them per 100 lbs.
mile. Upon the Alabama river, the rates of freight are also greatly below those of the Savannah. But the chief difficulty on our river route is, the entire absence of boats calculated to run during the frequent low stages of the water. This difficulty will be considered surprising, when it is recollected that the water on the most difficult bars never, as I am informed, falls below a depth of 20 inches-a point which it reaches only once in a series of years. With this minimum depth of water, I am satisfied from the inquiries that I have made, that produce and merchandize can be transported between Augusta and Savannah at all seasons of the year, provided fair loads can be obtained each way, at a cost of five and a half cents per 100 lbs., including interest on capital, repairs, and depreciation in value of boats. If an average of only half loads, or full loads one way, can be obtained, then nine cents would cover costs, &c., &c.
The importance of this subject to the revenues of our company, will be appreciated by those who witnessed the great loss of freight sustained by the road during last season-amounting, at the lowest estimate I can make, to $15,000-probably niuch more.
The adjustment of our rates of freight has heretofore been assigned to the Engineer department; but as the extension of the road has greatly increased the importance and responsibility of this duty, I would respectfully suggest to the Board the propriety of appointing an executive committee to take charge of this subject.
Before another meeting of our stockholders, the enterprise upon which they have been so long engaged, will be brought to a final termination; and I trust that they will then begin to receive an adeqnate return for their capital invested. The period chosen for the extension of the road could not have been more propitious. Not oly have wc been cnabled to get the work executed upon the most
javorable terms, but a timely order for our iron has given us that item at about $150,000 less than it can now be bought for.
In closing this communication, I regret to state that the company will shortly lose the efficient services of Mr. Peters, who has been associated with me, either on the construction of the road, or the management of its business, from the commencement of the work. His place at the head of the transportation department will be filled by F. C. Arms, Esq., already favorably known to the stockholders, and who has been for some time fulfilling the duties of the office, under the immediate direction of Mr. Peters. All of which is respectfully submitted by your ob't serv't,
J. EDGAR THOMSON, Chief Engineer and General Agent.
Statement of the aggregate amount of business done on the Georgia Railroad from April 1st, 1844,
10 April 1st, 1845.
2,784 47| 1,4751 5,367 03 5,924 94 1,617 2,268 72 8,193 68 2,429 17 15,989 86
1,161 68 5,640 10 2,429 17 12,899 49
502 917 85 4,342 32 2,429 17 11,676 76
2,943 73 27,502 28
8599 3,344 93 1,938 7,772 06 9,924 24 10,513 12,854 03 22,778 28 2,943 73|| 33,494 06
2,132 99 Extra Baggage, &c.,
502 23 Lots Negroes,
642 75 Freight between Stations,
$ 271,749 52