AR, M&WP 3/1/1862 S

Annual Report of the Montgomery & West Point RR
as of March 1, 1862,
Superintendent's Report
Superintendent's Report
Office of Engineer and Superintendent
Montgomery & West Point R. R., March 1, 1862
To Chas. T. Pollard, Esq., President:
   The earnings of your Road for the financial year ending 28th ult. have been as follows:
From transportation of Freight $195,336.18
    "               "            " Passengers 196,328.42
    "                "            " Mail 21,162.48
     Total $412,827.08
The earnings for the year 1860-61 were 442,683.11
Showing decrease of only 9,856.03
   The expenses for the same period have been --
For maintaining Road, including labor, subsistence, clothing for hands, salaries of all officers connected with the repair department, timber, Spikes, etc $54,815.55
Maintenance of Rolling Stock, including all labor on and materials for same 84,892.87
Operating, including wages of agents, clerks, conductors, watchmen, train hands, etc 66,566.18
Making a total of expenses of $206,274.60
Total number of miles run by trains in 1861 was 335,644
    "          "             "      "           "         1862 was 313,731
Showing a decrease in number of miles run this year of 21,913
Total expenses of all kinds per mile run in 1861 79.7 cts.
     "         "              "     "             "        "     1862 65.7 "    
Showing a decrease of expenses per mile run this year of 14 cts.   
   When it is considered that a large portion of our usual business has been cut off by the existing war -- that a considerable portion of our transportation has been for the Government, at one half our usual rates, and that the ruling prices of provisions, materials and supplies of nearly every description have been higher than at any other period of this Road's history -- these results cannot but be satisfactory. But so materially have the main features of our business been changed, that these results furnish us neither data for a critical comparison with former years, or any indications of the future.
   The trains have been worked with as much safety and freedom from accident as during any former year -- no serious accident has happened to any train, and none whatsoever to passengers. The frequent calls made on us during the year for special trains for the transportation of troops have been promptly met, and this service has been performed with entire freedom from accident.
Roadway, Buildings, etc.
   The unusually heavy and almost incessant rains of the past winter have not only to a great extent prevented the usual and ordinary repairs to the roadway, but caused serious injury to it, and heavy and general repairs to both Roadway and Bridging are required, and will be commenced as soon as practicable.
   Three Culvert on Notasulga grade, which were washed out in August last, must be enlarged, and the Arch Culvert at Hallawaka creek requires thorough repairs, having been seriously injured by the late rains.
   I recommend also the building of Rock Piers and a permanent superstructure at Red Creek, in place of the trestle work now there. Notwithstanding that the Road has suffered more from high water during the last year than at any other period in the history of the Road -- having twice, in that time, had to suspend the transportation of merchandise on account of breaks in the line -- no accident has resulted in consequence, either to Machinery or Cars.
   The light rail on the upper end of the Road is nearly worn out, and it is only by constant care and continued efforts that its efficiency is maintained. It has, however, sustained another year's business without being in much worse condition than at the date of the last report.
   In January last fifty tons of new T rails were purchased of the Western & Atlantic Rail Road. This is still on hand, and will be used for repairs and the construction of a new side track in Montgomery.
   Much difficulty has been experienced in procuring an adequate supply of spikes for repairs; and a sufficient quantity has only been procured at a considerable amount of trouble, and at increased expense -- arising both from the limited quantity manufactured in the Confederacy, and the lack of transportation from Richmond -- the only point at which they are manufactured. That the facilities for the manufacture of spikes in the Confederacy are entirely inadequate to supply the amount necessary for the repairs of Railroads is undeniable, and unless some means are adopted to supply the deficiency, I apprehend serious embarrassment from this cause to Rail Road operations.
   In view of this fact, I recommend that several Rail Road Companies unite in the purchase of a Spike Machine, and under their own supervision establish a manufactory at some point convenient to all concerned; or offer sufficient inducement to other parties, either in the way of guaranteeing the purchase of their whole supplies for a specified time at a rate which will be remunerative to the manufacturer, or otherwise.
New Work
   The new work during the year has been inconsiderable -- consisting chiefly of erecting county bridge at Shotwell's, Overseer's house on Steam Mill Division, new Water Tank at Fort Decatur, repairs of Depots, Platforms, &c., at a total cost of about $1,600.
   The condition of the Cars at the date of the last report has been maintained as nearly as possible, and the Cars now in service are in good condition. The difficulty in procuring material at fair rates has prevented the construction of Cars to any great extent, and in consequence the number of Cars in service has been reduced. At the date of the last report the number of
Box Platform Total
Freight Cars in service was 113 88 201
There has been built during the year 5 6 {should be 5}
113 93 206
Deduct Box Cars changed into Second Class Passenger Cars    3
Conductor's Cab Cars   2
Cars broken up and condemned   4 9 22 31
Leaving the number now in service 104 71 175
And showing a decrease of 26 Cars employed in freight service since last report.
   To meet the extraordinary calls frequently made on us by the Government for the rapid transportation of troops, munitions, etc., as well as to provide for the increase of business which would follow a return of peace and trade, I would recommend that at least 26 Box Cars and 12 Platforms should be built as early as practicable. We have the same number of Passenger and Baggage Cars in service as at lat report, and the condition has not been materially changed.
   I refer you to table No. 5 for the number and condition of Locomotives owned by the Company. No addition has been made to the Motive Power during the past year, and the outfit in that respect has been found sufficient for the transaction of our business.
   With the exception of flues and tires I can foresee no difficulty in maintaining the efficiency of our Motive Power during the present year, and unless an unusual amount of casualties should occur, our stock of these important items in repairs will be sufficient.
   For the successful prosecution of a business in many respects new to Rail Road management -- requiring not only extraordinary dispatch, but, from the frequent running of trains at irregular times, an unusual exercise of prudence, judgment and discretion, -- I am much indebted to the persons employed in the transportation department; and I bear willing testimony, not only to the fidelity with which they have discharged their duties, but to the entire willingness which has characterized their response to every demand made upon them for extra service.
   And to Mr. P. S. Beasey, Road Master, and the employees in his department, I am much indebted, not only for the faithful discharge of the ordinary duties of their department, but for their prompt and unremitting labor in repairing the damage to the Roadway and Bridging produced by the high waters which have prevailed during the winter.
Respectfully submitted,
Daniel H. Cram
Engineer and Superintendent