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State of New York at about the rates charged to New York City, and to interior points in Pennsylvania at about the rates charged to Philadel. phia.
The economy of this direct mode of transportation consists mainly in the saving of time, local-freight charges from the distributing seaports, and transfer-charges.
It is impossible to present a complete statistical view of this great and growing direct trade between distant points in different parts of the United States. Characteristic data illustrative of the growth of these features of the commercial movements of the country may be found in those sections of this report which refer to the movements of grain and of cotton, to the regulating power of the water-lines, to the diversion of traf. fic from the water-lines, and to the development of commerce on railroads.
The hope may be here expressed that measures will be adopted for collecting such statistical and other data as will afford a clearer understanding of the important changes which bave taken place in the modes of conducting the internal commerce of the country.
THE COMPARATIVE GROWTH OF COMMERCE ON RAILROADS AND ON
The commerce on the railroads of the country now far exceeds in magnitude the commerce on interior water-lines. The enormous preponderance of the traffic on railroads over the traffic on the Erie Canal and the Hudson River route in the commerce between the West and the Atlantic seaboard may be inferred from the following data, showing the tonnage moved on several of these competing lines during the Fear 1876 :
New York State canals, (including the Erie Canal, the Champlain Canal, and all the lateral canals of the State)
4, 172, 129 Erie Railway ..
5,972, 818 New York Central Railroad.
6, 803, 680 Pennsylvania Railroad
9, 922, 911 The traffic on the New York State canals appears to have been but one-fifth of the traffic on the three trunk railroads mentioned.
In the above statement is embraced only the tonnage of the Pennsylvania Railroad lines between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It appears from the report for the year 1876 that the total tonnage moved on all the lines owned and controlled by that company, both east and west of Pittsburgh, amounted to 31,092,631 tons. It is proper to observe here that the facts showing the more rapid growth of commerce on railroads than on water-lines indicate both the development of commerce on railroads and the diversion of commerce from water-lines to railroads.
Competition between the northern water-line and the east and west trunk railroads.-The diversion of grain and other products of the West from the lake and canal route to the various rail-routes connectiug the West with the seaboard constitutes one of the most important features of the internal commerce of the United States. This diversion began about fifteen years ago. Its extent may be inferred from the grainreceipts at Portland, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore during the year 1776.
Bashels. 32, 853, 839
By canal and Hudson River.....
3, 999, 181 22, 753, 698 35, 546, 845 37,564, 536
Total by rail......
158, 912, 213 N. B.—There appears to have been about four million bushels received at New York “coastwise,” which does not appear in the above table.
Almost 95 per cent. of the total receipts of grain at Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, were from the Western States, a traffic in which the rail-lines compete with each other and with the water-line.
The total receipts by rail and by water (including coastwise receipts) at the five ports appear to have been :
Bushels. By water...
32,853, 839 By rail....
157, 912, 213
191, 766, 052 It appears that 17 per cent. of the total receipts was by the Erie Canal and Hudson River and 83 per cent. by rail. It is to be observed, however, that 13,672,732 bushels of grain received “by lake" at Buffalo were thence shipped by rail. This shows that about 24 per cent. of the shipments from the West were by lake and about 76 per cent. by rail.
It was ascertained by the Senate Committee on Transportation that the total shipments of grain from the Western States into the Atlantic seaboard amounted during the year 1872 to 178,021,426 bushels, of which 109,338,803 bushels, or 61 per cent., was shipped by rail. Comparative statistics indicate that the proportion shipped by rail has since considerably increased.
The following table indicates the amount of flour and grain delivered at New York as compared with the total quantity delivered at Montreal, Portland, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans from 1872 to 1876, inclusive:
The delivery of western grain at other ports than New York were exclusively by rail.
The diversion of the grain traffic from the northern water-line to railroads is also indicated by the following facts: Only eight years ago the principal part of the western grain consumed in the New England States was brought to New York, and was thence distributed by means of vessels sailing coastwise or by railroads to various points in the New England States. That commerce is now carried on over direct raillines, thus saving time and the incidental expenses of an indirect trade. This fact is clearly illustrated by the following table, presented in the report of the Massachusetts railroad commissioners for the year 1876 : Receipts of grain and flour at Boston from the West by water and by rail for eight years.
Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. Barrels. 733, 955 818, 827 995, 950 1, 052, 012 988, 4911, 282, 4291, 303, 851 1, 230, 1371, 342, 191 701, 727 506, 458 658, 714 569, 303 493, 258 534, 990 502, 021 395, 994
By rail. By water.
483, 875/1, 384, 2841, 370, 4213, 156, 8005, 119, 749 3, 159, 1982, 768, 382 4, 914, 0077, 933, 644 1, 847, 1591, 055, 676945, 981 481, 303 320, 755 304, 867 219, 394 148, 277
606, 033 1,076, 6751, 676, 1082, 244, 0862, 384, 699 3, 245, 0162, 885, 8122, 499, 6312, 718, 574
It appears from the foregoing table that the direct-rail receipts of flour at Boston increased from 733,955 barrels in 1868 to 1,342,191 barrels in 1876, and that the receipts by water fell from 701,727 barrels in 1868 to 293,066 barrels in 1876.
The change in the mode of transporting corn was even more marked.
The direct-rail receipts rose from 483,875 bushels in 1863 to 7,933,644 bushels in 1876, while the receipts by water fell from 1,847,159 bushels in 1868 to 66,059 bushels in 1876. The change in the mode of transporting oats and barley is also very marked.
The comparative growth of commerce on the Erie Canal and on the two competing rail-lines—the New York Central and the Erie Railroads—affords a striking illustration of the diversion of traffic from the canal.
Upon the completion of a continuous rail-line from Albany to Buffalo, the passenger traffic between these cities was at once transferred to the railroad. In 1848 the mileage of packet-boats on the canal was 542,300 miles, and in 1852 it was only 71,775 miles. The canal then ceased to be a passenger-route between the West and the East. All those commodities known as "express goods” were also very soon transferred from the canal to the railroads, and manufactured goods and the large class of freights known as "general merchandise" gradually left the canal and now constitute a part of the traffic of the railroad.
The partial diversion of the grain traffic from the canal to railroads has taken place during the last ten years, and it has been mainly the result of the direct shipment of western products from interior points to points of destination in the Atlantic States on through-freight-line cars.
Although the cost of transportation on railroads is greater than on the lakes and on the Erie Canal, yet it is found that the saving of transfer.charges and of other expenses connected with the delivery of grain at western lake ports, the transfer-charges from lake.vessels to canal-boats and again from canal-boats to railroads for distribution to points of final destination, in many cases, more than counterbalances the greater rail rate per ton per mile. This does not apply, however, to the great masses of grain sent to western lake ports for a market, and thence shipped to New York for home consumption or for exportation to foreign countries. With regard to this particular traffic, the lake and rail routes and the lake and canal route afford decided advantages over the all-rail lines.
The average value of merchandise shipped, annually, over the Erie Canal to States west of the State of New York during the five years from 1852 to 1856, inclusive, amounted to $402,779,160, but during the five years from 1871 to 1875, inclusive, the average value of merchandise thus shipped by canal amounted to only $169,927,040. At the same time there was a large increase in the value of merchandise shipped West by rail.
The diversion of traffic is also indicated by the fact that the quantity of flour moved on all the canals of the State of New York during the year 1862 amounted to 2,102,574 barrels, and during the year 1875 to only 163,287 barrels.
Competition between the Mississippi River and the railroads connecting the Western and Northwestern States with the South Atlantic and Gulf States. There are no available statistics from which can be ascertained the relative quantity and value of commodities shipped on the Mississippi River and on railroads from the Western States into the States south of the Ohio River and south of the State of Missouri, nor of the quantity and value of commodities shipped from those Southern States into the Western and Northwestern States. The general fact that there has been a large diversion of traffic from the river to the railroads may, however, be illustrated by the statistics showing the movements of commerce at Saint Louis.
Twenty-five years ago the commerce of Saint Louis was almost ex. clusively confined to the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries, and the merchants of that city hardly regarded railroads as commercial highways. The principal trade of Saint Louis was then toward the South, with New Orleans and with the cities and towns upon the Mis. sissippi River below the mouth of the Ohio River. A great chauge has, however, taken place with respect to this commerce. During the year 1875 only 22 per cent. of the commerce of Saint Louis was by river, the remaining 78 per cent. having been by rail.
The facts in regard to the commercial movements to and from Saint Louis are very fully and clearly presented by Mr. George H. Morgan, secretary of the Saint Louis Merchants’ Exchange, in a statement prepared for the use of this Department. (Appendix, p. 148.) From this statement the following facts in regard to the commercial movements at Saint Louis have been collated. The commerce of Saint Louis by river and by rail with sections of the country lying north, south, east, and West is indicated by the following table :
Tons of freight received at Saint Louis from the North and of freight shipped from that city
to the North, by river and by rail, from 1871 to 1875, inclusive.
Adding receipts to shipments, it appears that the traffic to and from the North by river increased from 452,790 tons in 1871 to 466,790 tons in 1875, and that the rail-tonnage fell from 75,668 tons in 1871 to 73,747 tons in 1875.