OUR HORSE RAILROADS—INTERESTING FACTS.
In the Lansingburgh Gazette of yesterday, appeared as exceedingly interesting and exhaustive article, in reference to that origin, management, and importance of the Troy and Lansingburgh and Troy and Cohoes Horse Railroads. We copy the following extracts, which will no doubt prove interesting to our readers:
It was some little time before our people got to fully realize the utility of the horse railroad. How they gradually came to it, is best shown by the receipts of the road at a given period one year, to a corresponding period of the next year. The receipts for ten days in January, 1862, and ten corresponding days in January, 1863, were as follows:
1862. | 1863.
January 1……….$111 55 | January 1……….$245 90
January 2………. 101 90 | January 2………. 209 18
January 3………. 79 30 | January 3………. 205 20
January 4………. 90 80 | January 4………. 190 59
January 5………. 51 45 | January 5………. 146 56
January 6………. 61 25 | January 6………. 139 55
January 7………. 82 55 | January 7………. 106 39
January 8………. 75 10 | January 8………. 159 28
January 9………. 75 90 | January 9………. 136 19
January 10……… 69 75 | January 10……… 169 45
An actual statement from the Company’s book would show that there has been an increase in the amount received for fares, on each day, each week and each month, compared with the corresponding day, week and month to the present year, since the Company organized.
The Company is therefore operating sixteen miles of road, as follows:
From Waterford to Nail Factory………7 miles.
From Cohoes to Troy………………..4 miles.
From South Lansingburgh to Bush Inn….5 miles.
The whole number of cars owned by the Company is 37; average cost, $1,600. The wear and tear of cars is very considerable, and frequent repairs are necessary. However, some of the cars originally owned are still running, but have made frequent visits to the repair shop.
The South Lansingburgh office is the general office of the company, and is in the efficient and intelligent charge of A. A. Peebles, as General Superintendent; Henry Richardson, Receiver and Accountant; and John W. Schofield, general clerk and assistant.
The road employs 33 conductors, who receive for their services #2 per day, or $14 per week. There are 33 drivers, who receive $1.50 per day, or $10.50 per week. Of hostlers, helpers and watchmen there are 34, who receive $1.50 per day. Twenty mechanics, including carpenters, blacksmiths, painters, foremen and trackmen are employed at $2 to $2.50.
The company own and employ 242 horses. The average value of these is $200. They are well cared for but their work is steady, each team making on week’s average 17½ miles each day. It is found by experience that car horses do not wear out so rapidly as horses employed in other kinds of business. The wear and tear is about equal to that of farm horses, nothing more.
Each horse consumes daily, of grain 14 lbs, hay 11 lbs, straw 1 lb.
On the Troy and Lansingburgh Road, each conductor and driver makes five trips, traveling 70 miles per day.
The first car leaves Waterford at 5:45 A. M., and the last car arrives at 12:03 midnight.
The working times of drivers and conductors is fifteen hours daily; working hours of hostlers, and helpers 12 to 14 hours—7 days in the week.
The principal stable of the company is at the Waterford bridge in Lansingburgh. It is a wood building, 220 by 70 feet, and will accommodate 134 horses.
By far the most elegant and commodious of the Company’s structures is at the site of the old toll gate—South of Lansingburgh about ¼ mile above the Troy line. With the land, the establishment has cost about $45,000. The frontage of property on the road is 600 feet; in rear about 300 feet, touching Vail avenue. The building is of brick, 112 feet front, 300 deep and comprises, barn, car house and office. The barn is 70 feet wide, and 175 feet deep. It has stalls for 95 horses.
The stable at the Iron Works is 20 by 90 feet, and includes car house, dwelling house, office, &c. Will accommodate twelve horses.
The Cohoes stables are of wood, 150 feet by 35, and will accommodate 12 horses. T. J. Brower is foreman of the Cohoes stables.
In addition to the stables, the company own as follows: the car house at the bridge, Lansingburgh, [20?] by 100 feet; repair ship, 60 by 30, two stories, which includes paint shop, and store-room. This is the general car depot of the road. In Lansingburgh, also, is the oil house, fire proof, brick, and arched. Here are kept all the oils This is 15 by 40. Also, shed, 40 by 60, for storing snow plows, sleighs, wagons, &c.; barn for pressing hay, three stories high, and supplied with hay press; barn for storing pressed hay, 40 by 100; blacksmith shop, 50 by 25; ice house, 15 by 30. At Cohoes, the company own, in addition to stables, car house and other buildings.
Great snow storms are the enemies of horse railroad locomotion. The great snow storm of the winter of 1867, cost the Troy & Lansingburgh company $3000; other snows of the winter $2000 more, making in all $5000. Thus, in addition to the loss of the usual receipts from passengers, made up a very considerable item. The snows this winter have cost the company some $1000—though the trains have all the time been kept running.
The average speed on the Troy & Lansingburgh line is six miles per hour. In New York the fastest time is 4½ or 5 miles per hour. The whole length of the road is seven miles, and the fare received by the company is ten cents, deducting two cent toll. In New York, the horse railroad fare is six cents for any length of road; and on the West Troy road the fare is 15 cents, for about six miles. This it will be seen that the fare charged on this road is lower than that charged on any other road.
On the original Lansingburgh road, 60 round trips are made daily. Eleven cars are running.
Total car travel on this road, per day………..840 miles.
On the Cohoes road, 26 round trips daily………208 miles.
On 3d and 4th st. road, [50?] round trips daily..590 miles.
Total car travel daily on the 3 roads………1638 miles.
It is only when we come to look at actual figures that we realize the vast business of our local travel. Previous to the day of horse railroads, three lines of stages accommodated all the travel between Troy, Lansingburgh, Waterford and Cohoes. These stages carried in all about 350 passengers per day; fare one shilling. The aggregate receipts of the lines were about $70 daily. To show how, as we multiply the facilities of travel from and to given points, and cheapen fares, travel increases, let us examine the business of the little net work of horse railroads which now connects Troy, Lansingburgh, Waterford and Cohoes.
The average number of fares collected daily on the three roads is not far from the following figures, making an average for each of the 365 days in the year:
Daily fares on the Troy & Lansingburgh road.. 4,003
[Daily fares on the] Third & Fourth st road…… 2,000
[Daily fares on the] Cohoes road…………….. 1,400
This gives fifty-one thousand eight hundred fares for each week for seven days; for each month of twenty-eight days, two hundred and seven thousand, two hundred fares; and for each year TWO MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED AND ONE THOUSAND FARES!
This estimate is under, rather than over, the business which the exact figures would show.
Of this vast number of fares, perhaps one-third are through, and the remaining two-thirds, way fares.
The Troy and Lansingburgh Horse R. R. Company has been operating its road and roads five full and four months of the sixth year, ending December last. The receipts of corporations of this kind are seldom accessible to the public; but we believe the table we have prepared below will be found to give a fair idea of this company’s receipts, from September, 1862, to the close of December, 1867. It is proper to say we do not derive our information from either of the officers of the company. By neither of these, nevertheless, will the general accuracy of our figures be called in question:
The cost of operating the road now compared with what it was at the commencement is of course very large. Wages of operatives have nearly doubled; live stock and and rolling stock have advanced one hundred per cent. Grain and hay have more than doubled. With all the increase of cost of operating, way fares, from which two-thirds of the receipts of the road are derived, remain the same, while there has been a slight increase in through fares.
The entire costs to the present time, including construction, equipment, buildings, &c, has been about $500,000.
The Capital Stock of the Company is $500—one half paid in. The last sale of the stock was at $1.10. The original Capital Stock of the Company was $100,000.
The following is the present organization of the Company:
President—John A. Griswold.
Vice President—John L. Manning.
Secretary and Treasurer—George F. Simms.
Directors—John A. Griswold, John L. Mannings, O. A. Arnold, Wm. Barton, J. W. Fuller, John Flagg, George Dauchy, Jacob Jacobs, Leonard Smith, Perry E. Toles, A. A. Peebles, Geo A. Laffy, E. P. Pickett.
The article closes with a deserved allusion to Mr. William Barton, the first superintendent of the road, which we are compelled to omit for want of space.
Troy Daily Whig. January 31, 1868: 4 cols 3-5.