1870-71 Report on Railways

From FIBIwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Annual Railway Report for 1870-71
This is a sub-section of separate page Annual Administration Reports for Railways

British Library ‘India Office Records L/PARL/2/100 “Railways in India for the year 1870-71” by Juland Danvers , Government Director of the Indian Railways’- presented to both Houses of Parliament’ by HM Command.
Online pdf version ‘Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics’ Administration Report on the Railways in India for 1870-71.

The map from this Report has been photographed and reproduced by permission of the British Library.

1870-71 Railway Map.png

Extracts from Report

This is a transcript of relevant information extracted from that Report with Paragraph and Page numbers as stated:-
Fibis notes and comments are given in Italics

Progress on State lines. Paragraphs 5-10; Pages 3-4

5. The following table furnishes particulars as to the length of each under-stated railway and its progress towards completion: -
see Fibis Notes at end of Table
All distances are given in Miles (c. 1.6km)

Railway. Gauge Length Sanctioned Opened in
Opened since
Dec 1870
Total Length
Double Line Remaining to
be finished
Guaranteed Lines
East Indian (EIR) Main Line 5’6” 1278 0 147 1278 399 0
East India (EIR) Jubbulpore Line 5’6” 224 0 0 224 0 0
Great Indian Peninsula (GIPR) 5’6” 1270 385 15 1272 287 0
Madras Railway 5’6” 862 76 49 832 0 30
Bombay Boroda & Cent. Ind. (BB&CIR) 5’6” 391 0 0 312 18½ 72
Scinde, Punjab, and Delhi (SP&DR) 5’6” 674 43 0 674 5 0
Great Southern India (GSIR) 5’6” 378 0 0 168 0 210
Eastern Bengal (EBR) 5’6” 159 45 0 159 0 0
Oude and Rohikund (O&RR) 5’6” 733 0 0 42 0 679
Carnatic 3’3⅜” 100 0 0 19 0 81
Unguaranteed State Lines
Nulhuttee 4’ 0” 27½ 0 0 27½ 0 0
Calcutta and South-eastern 5’6” 28 0 0 28 0 0
Khamagaon 5’6” 8 0 0 8 0 0
Oomrawuttee 5’6” 0 0 0
Goolburga to Hyderabad 5’6” 116 0 0 0 0 116
Punjab Northern 3’3⅜” 270 0 0 0 0 270
Indus Valley 3’3⅜” 500 0 0 0 0 500
Rajpootana 3’3⅜” 370 0 0 0 0 370
Indore to Khundwa 3’3⅜” 84 0 0 0 0 84
Total 7,482 556½ 211 5,051 709½ 2,431

Notes on Table above

Fibis Notes are shown in italics
  • “Railway”' - the spelling is as shown in this Report. The final Railway Abbreviation is shown in (Brackets)
  • “Gauge”'
    • 5’6” - this is broad gauge(BG) and in Report termed “standard gauge” so we have added (BG) to the text for clarity.
    • 3’3⅜” - this is metre gauge(MG) and in Report termed “narrow gauge” so we have added (MG) to the text for clarity.
    • § - indicates where the Gauge was sanctioned as MG and the subsequently changed to BG - see Rail Gauge page for further information

6. Much progress has not at present been made on what are termed the State lines, viz., those which the Government of India has determined to construct under its own immediate supervision, without the intervention of companies. A small branch from the Great Indian Peninsula Railway to the cotton mart of Oomrawuttee, of 71 miles in length, has been opened, making the second line of this description which has been constructed by Government in the Central Provinces; but the line from Lahore towards Peshawar has not been advanced beyond laying it out as far as Jhelum, a distance of 102 miles. Delay in proceeding with the works in this alley undertaking has been occasioned by the proposal to alter the designs, which had been prepared for the standard gauge, and to adapt them to the narrow gauge. Now that this question has been settled in the affirmative, new plans are being made, and operations will commence in earnest. It is estimated that 200,000/. will be expended on this line during the present year. The total cost of the whole, which is 270 miles in length, will be about

7. The Indus Valley Railway is also to be constructed on the narrow gauge. its northern portion has been laid out and is about to be commenced. This starts from a point six miles west of Moultan on the Punjab Railway, and runs through Shoojabad and Bhawulpore to Sukker. The lower division extends from that place to Kotree and is beset with difficulties arising from inundations. A committee is investigating the route on either side of the river and will report which they consider to be the more favourable for the construction of a railway.

8. With regard to the projected railways in Rajpootana, lines have been surveyed from Agra to Ajmeer, via Jeypoor and Sambhur, 236 miles, and from Delhi via Rewaree and Tellour, 125 miles, to join the above, with a branch of eight miles to the Salt Works. Operations have commenced on the line between Delhi and Rewaree, which will involve an outlay of 50,000/. during the present year. The line to Ajmeer will probably be taken, ultimately, on to Indore, from which place to Khundwa, on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, a line, 84 miles in length, has been laid out. A treaty has been made between the British Government and the Maharajah of Jeypore for the lease of the Sambhur Salt Lake, by which the British Government will have the exclusive right to manufacture and sell salt there.

9. The line from Carwar to Hooblee, south of Bombay, is still under consideration. The difficulties of this scheme, and the expensive nature of the works over the ghats, made it necessary to survey the ground afresh. More favourable gradients and easier works than were originally contemplated have now been found practicable.

10. The railway from Goolburga, on the Great Indian Peninsula, to Hyderabad, which is to be constructed with funds provided by the Nizam, has been laid out and commenced. It will be about 116 miles in length and will go by Secunderabad and Trimulgherry. At the particular desire of the Nizam this line will be constructed on the Broad Gauge.

Rail Gauge. Paragraphs 11-14; Pages 4-6

Fibis Note - these Paragraphs are further considered on separate page [Rail_gauge#Gauge_Question] 11. I may here mention that the important question of gauge has occupied much attention during the past year. The present width of 5 feet 6 inches was fixed upon by the home authorities, when Indian railways were first commenced, in the year 1859. Lord Dalhousie was in favour of 6 feet; but after much consideration 5 feet 6 inches was decided upon as preferable. Since that time the introduction of a lighter system of railways into India has more than once been proposed. Colonel H. Yule, R.E., C.B., strongly advocated it some years ago, and the Indian Branch Railway Company constructed two short lines of this description, both on the broad and narrow gauge, Mr. Wilson being their engineer. The recommendation that a much narrower gauge than 5 feet 6 inches should at once be applied to future lines of railway in India was made by the present Viceroy last year. The chief ground upon which Lord Mayo came to this conclusion was economy. He and the members of his Council considered that the railway system of India was really in its infancy; that its extension to any great length upon the existing mode of construction would be greatly retarded by the necessary outlay; that saving of cost in every direction was imperatively called for, and that such saving could be most satisfactorily secured by adopting a narrow gauge. The Government of India regarded 3 feet 6 inches as the maximum that should be used but begged that this point should be determined in England.

12. A committee, consisting of Colonel R. Strachey, R. E., C.S.I., Colonel C. H. Dickens, R.A., C. S. l., Mr. John Fowler, C.E., and Mr. A. M. Rendel, Consulting Engineer to the East Indian Railway Company, was accordingly appointed "to consider the precise gauge and general character for an average (5) narrow gauge line of railway in India." The result of their investigations and deliberations was given in two reports, one containing the conclusions at which all the members of the committee, excepting Mr. Fowler, had arrived, the other expressing that gentleman's opinion alone. All, including Mr. Fowler, were in Favour on the ground of economy, of introducing a narrower gauge into India than the present standard of 5 feet 6 inches in districts where a break of gauge would not be productive of serious inconvenience, but they differed as to what that gauge should be. Colonel Strachey, Colonel Dickens, and Mr. Rendel recommended 2 feet 9 inches; Mr. Fowler, 3 feet 6 inches. The opinion of the former was founded upon the conviction that " to obtain the greatest economy in construction, and, consequently, the greatest possible extension of railways in India, the gauge selected should be not only narrow, but the narrowest which would combine convenience of transport for various kinds of goods and passengers with reasonable speed, and with economy and safety in working;" and they were persuaded that these conditions would be fulfilled by a 2 feet 9-inch gauge. Mr. Fowler, on the other hand, was of opinion that a width of 3 feet 6 inches should be adopted, " on the clear ground that it was not greater in first cost of works and rolling stock than a gauge of 2 feet 9 inches, and was greatly superior in carrying capacity, convenience, and economical working." The other members of the committee considered that the cost of a railway was in proportion to its gauge; he did not. He felt that to secure the greatest simplicity and economy of construction and working in a locomotive a gauge of 3 feet 6 inches was required. They thought that engines of sufficient power might be put on a 2 feet 9-inch gauge to draw at a sufficient speed the largest traffic which the lines for which a narrow gauge is suitable are likely to carry. The same differences of opinion on similar grounds are expressed in regard to the rolling stock of the respective gauges. Opinions were also given on the subject by Mr. John Hawkshaw, as Consulting Engineer to the Madras and the Eastern Bengal Railways, and by Mr. G. P. Bidder, as Consulting Engineer to the Scinde, Punjab and Delhi Railway. They are both opposed to the application of any other than the existing gauge to future lines, which may be required as branches to or extensions of the systems of railway with which they are connected. They attach great importance to the evils and inconveniences of a break of gauge, and contend that the very small saving, if any, which might be secured by the adoption of a narrow gauge would be more than counterbalanced by those disadvantages. Mr. Hawkshaw, however, admits, in the early part of his report, that if “it were a well-ascertained fact that there are districts in India where, having regard to financial reasons, a railway on a narrower gauge could be made, but where a railway on the existing gauge could not and ought not to be made, then that would be a case in which a narrow gauge might be considered as an absolute necessity.” He calculates, upon certain assumptions, that the difference in the first cost of a heavy railway on the 5 feet 6-inch and a light railway on the 3 feet 6-inch gauge would be 1,810/, per mile, and that the saving in maintenance and renewals of permanent way would be 50/. per mile per annum, or, if capitalised at 20 years' purchase, 1,000/. He considers, however, that the object of economy would be best attained by constructing a lighter system of railway on the existing gauge and calculates that by this means 1,250/. per mile might be saved in the first cost, and 40/. Per annum in maintenance, or 800/. capitalised. Thus, under the least favourable view of the case, a saving of about 800/. per mile is admitted. The case above described in Mr. Hawkshaw's words would probably be regarded as the rule, instead of the exception, for future lines in India. If ten thousand miles are to be laid out, economy must be observed in the construction of every mile, and a saving of 800,000/. in every thousand miles, or of in ten thousand miles, becomes a matter of importance.

13. A much greater saving, however, is expected by the advocates of the narrow gauge. I may mention, in passing, that the estimates for the Carnatic Railway, on the broad and narrow-gauge systems, made by Mr. C. Douglas Fox, the Consulting Engineer to that company, show a saving of 1,700/. per mile in favour of the latter. The same capital would thus make 112 miles of the 5 feet 6 inches, or 151 miles of 3 feet 3 inches. I am informed also that in America 80 miles of a line which is to be 850 miles in length has been laid on a 3 feet gauge, at a cost of 2,500/. per mile, including rolling stock, the rail being 30 lbs. to the yard, joined by fish plates, the sleepers pine wood, 5 feet long, set 2 feet 6 inches apart. The existence of another gauge in the country necessarily complicates the question of the narrow; and in some places and situations the of a of gauge may be so great, or the value of a of communication for may be so impaired by it, as to it worth while to pay the in cost; but, under ordinary circumstances, kinds of difficulties may be greatly reduced by improved mechanical appliances and good traffic condition of things, moreover, in this country, where, within short distances, and with an immense traffic, a break of gauge has been found to be most and objectionable, is very different from that of India.

14. All the opinions above mentioned were on the 20th October last transmitted to the Government of India, with a despatch to H.E. the Governor General in Council, in which were weighed the advantages and disadvantages, on political and economic grounds, of the application of a narrow gauge to future railways, especially to the cases of the Punjab Northern and the Indus Valley lines, and after commending to his investigation certain points of a local and technical character which would bear upon the question, the decision was left in the hands of the Government of India. That Government has since decided that the future narrow gauge for Indian railways shall be a metre or 3 feet 3⅜ inches, this being in its opinion most convenient as respects the width of vehicle which can be run on it, and one which, while equal to the present requirements of the traffic with light rails and rolling stock, may be readily adapted in case of an important increase of traffic for larger vehicles and heavier engines. The Government determined also that it should be adopted for the Punjab Northern and Indus Valley lines as well as for the Rajpootana and Indore Railways.

Dates at which guaranteed lines may be purchased. Paragraphs 15-17; Page 6

15, It was mentioned in my last report that certain modifications had been made in the original contracts with many of the Railway Companies, the chief object being to arrange in future for the equal division of surplus profits, that is, of profits above the rate of guaranteed interest, between the Government and the Companies so long as the railways remained in the hands of the Companies. Under most of' the former contracts power was given to the Government to purchase the railways upon terms specified on the 25th and 50th year after the dates of the respective contracts. The dates at which the first opportunity of purchase was fixed have in some cases been altered, and in others the right of purchase at the end of the first 25 years has been given up by the Government. The position in which each company now stands in this respect will be seen by the subjoined list.

16. Dates when the right of purchase can first be exercised by Government in the case of several guaranteed Indian railways:

  • East Indian, main line - 15 February 1879.
  • Jubbulpore line - 21 April 1883.
  • Great Indian Peninsula - 17 August 1899
  • Madras - I April 1907

East Indian Railway. Paragraph 62; Page 34

62. This undertaking has now been completed by the opening of the Chord line on the 1st January last. Its whole length is 1,502 miles, of which 399 miles are made with a double line. The distance from Calcutta to Delhi, its northern terminus, is 953¾ miles by the new direct line; by the circuitous route, via Rajmahal, it is 1,019 miles. The branch from three miles from Allahabad, to Jubbulpore is 224 miles in length; and other minor branches make up the total mileage above given. The cost of the railway up to the end of March was 20,200/. per running mile and 16,000/. per mile of single road. Its gross earnings last year were 2,753,932/., and its expenses leaving a net profit of or rather more than 5 per cent. The train mileage for the last two years has been 7.96s. and 8.44s. respectively, and the expenses 3.39s. and 3.62s. Surplus profits to the amount of were earned on the main line in the half year ending the 30th June. In the Appendix will be found a note by the Company's Consulting Engineer, containing some interesting particulars relative to the working of this railway

Great Indian Peninsula Railway. Paragraphs 63,64; Page 34,35

63. portion of this undertaking, which has its terminus at Jubbulpore, was completed in March 187(), and the south-east line has recently been opened to Raichore, it joins the Madras Railway. The bridge over the Kistna river still to be finished, as well as the restoration of viaducts and masonry works on various portions of the line. Until all this has been done, the railway cannot be regarded as complete; but its whole length of 1,272 miles, of which 287 are double, is sufficiently finished to enable the traffic to be carried on. During the past year miles have been added to the open line. The capital expenditure up to the 31st March had been 22,417,464/- and if the estimated total expenditure of is correct about more will be required. The cost per mile open will then amount to 20,400/., or 16,670/. for each mile of single line; but it seems probable now that the works will be completed for a less sum than was expected

64. The gross receipts during the year 1870 were 1,659,947/. and the expenses 1,032,630/. leaving a net revenue of 627,317/., as compared with 481,016/. of the previous year. There has been a considerable falling off in some of the principal articles of commerce, such as cotton and grain, in consequence of the state of trade. The maintenance and working charges continue high, having been 61.90 per cent. of the gross receipts.

Madras Railway. Paragraphs 65,66; Page 35

65. The whole of this undertaking, with the exception of the branch from Coimbatoor to the Neilgherry Hills, is now completed. Seventy-six miles were added during the year 1870, and since the beginning of the present year the north-west line to Raichore, where it joins the Great Indian Peninsula Railway from Bombay, has been opened, and the branch to Bellary has likewise been finished. The whole length upon which traffic is now carried is 832 miles; consisting of the south-west line to Beypore and the Bangalore branch, 492 miles; the north-west to Raichore and branch to Bellary, 340 miles. The plans for the Neilgherry branch have not yet been approved by Government. The accounts of the south-west and north-west lines were until June last kept separate, but arrangements were then made for amalgamating them, and it is now one undertaking in every sense. For the first time, an accident of a very serious nature, involving every sense. For the first time an accident of a very serious nature, involving the loss of eight lives, occurred on this line during the past year. It was caused by some piers of' the bridge over the Cheyair river giving way and has been noticed in the early part of this Report. The capital account on the 31st March showed an outlay of 9,748, 13.5/., being at the rate of 11,600/. per mile.

66. The traffic returns during the year have not been satisfactory. The depressed state of trade and the outbreak of epidemics in certain districts have injuriously affected the traffic. Compared with the previous year, which was influenced by similar causes, the gross receipts decreased from 562,630/. to 493,213/., and the expenditure from 276,618/. to 259,693/.

Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway. Paragraphs 67,68; Page 35

67. All the construction works on the original line, with the exception of the terminus at Bombay, having been now nearly completed, the principal operations in this undertaking are confined to the branch to Veertunoaum, which was commenced last miles embraced in this line were let out in four contracts, and November. The 77 ½ miles embraced in this line were let out in four contracts, and the first, from Saburrnuttee to Samund, has already been opened for traffic. The moderate cost of this branch will diminish the high mileage rate of the whole line, the outlay on which up to the 31st March had been 7,436,158/.

68. The results of the traffic during the year have, upon the whole, been satisfactory. The earnings have increased, and the working charges have diminished. The gross receipts in 1870 were 493,098/., compared with 299,492/. in the previous year, and the expenditure 298,526/., as compared with 241,026/. The working and maintenance charges were 60.54 per cent. of the gross receipts. The train mileage receipts have fallen from 11 .02s. in 1869 to 10.35s. in 1870, and the expenses per train mile have also been reduced from 8.45s. to 6.39s.; but there is still room for improvement. The effect of lowering the third-class passenger fares and certain goods' rates has not been yet fully demonstrated, but the present year will probably exhibit the benefits of that policy. The sea competition is a difficulty which this railway has to meet, and low rates will only tempt the trader to use the railway. In the months of February and March last, 18,334 bales of cotton out of 45,640 were taken by sea.

Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway. Paragraphs 69-72; Pages 35,36

69. The three lines of railway and the Indus Flotilla, which comprised this undertaking, have during the past year been amalgamated under the above title, so that there is now one capital and one revenue account for all, and greater economy as well as simplicity in the management has been secured. The bridge over the Sutlej, which was the only link wanting to complete the line between Delhi and Lahore, opened on the 15th October by the Maharajah of Puttiala, and a continuous line of railway communication from Calcutta and from Bombay to Moltuan was thus established.

70. The capital account on the 31st March showed that had been expended on the united undertaking, which consists of 675 miles of railway and a flotilla for the navigation of 500 miles of the River Indus.

71. The gross receipts for the year amounted to 520,455/., and the gross expenditure to 396,665/., leaving 123,790/. as net earnings, compared with 78,836/. for the previous year.

72. The great arbitration case in which this company was concerned has at length been terminated by a compromise. The claim made by Mr. Bray, the contractor, against the company was for 213,595/. Proceedings commenced about 10 years ago. A sum of upwards of 34,000/. has been expended by the company in law charges, and the claimant has now accepted 45,000/. as a settlement.

Great Southern of India Railway. Paragraphs 73-75; Page 36

73. Although the surveys, plans, and estimates of the extension of this line to Tuticorin have been completed for some months, no commencement has been made with its construction The question of gauge has had something to do with this delay, the Government having had under consideration whether the narrow gauge would not be suitable for the 210 miles embraced in the extension. As soon as this point is decided it is to be hoped active operations will immediately commence.

74. The capital expended on the open portion of this line to the 31st March last was 1,454,666/., being under 9,000/. per mile.

75. The gross receipts on the open line during the year 1870 were 70,962/., the expenditure being 42,646/., and the net earnings 28,316/., compared with 25,643/. of the previous year. The slight increase thus shown was entirely due to the merchandise traffic, that of passengers having fallen off.

Eastern Bengal Railway. Paragraphs 76-78; Page 36

76. The section between Kooshtee and Goalundo was opened on the 31st December last by the Governor General in person. The bridge over the Goraie river, which has been constructed under the superintendence of Mr. Bradford Leslie, is a work of considerable magnitude, and the successful manner in which all difficulties have been overcome reflects great credit upon Mr. Leslie and those employed with him. Its length is 1,760 feet, and it consists of 7 spans of 185 feet, and 10 of 45 feet. It is supported on iron cylindrical piers 138 feet long, some of them being 40 feet under the bed of the river. During its construction one of the piers was swept down by the force of the floods and has not been found since. The Eastern Bengal Railway is now 159 miles in length. The new northern terminus at Goalundo is situated at the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Brahmapootra and is expected to become an important depot for the produce of Eastern Bengal by intercepting the river traffic on its way from up country. The receipts from the line since the extension was completed afford promising hopes for the future. The capital expenditure up to the 31st March amounted to 2,860,667/. Some few additional works are being executed, but no very large outlay will be required, and the line when finished will probably have cost 18,000/. per mile.

77. Its extension still further to Darjeeling has been proposed, and plans for carrying it out are now under the examination of Government.

78. The gross earnings last year were 178,092/., as compared with 166,338/. of the year 1869. The gross expenditure in the two years were 99, 187/. and 80,599/. respectively, leaving the net profits for 1870 at 78,905/., and for 1869 at 85,739/.

Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway. Paragraphs 79, 80; Page 36,37

79. While construction operations have been vigorously carried on during the year, no addition has been made to the open line, which is still limited to the section between Cawnpore and Lucknow. The completion of the bridge over the Ganges at Cawnpore will unfortunately be deferred for another year, in consequence of the alterations which were considered to be necessary in the construction of the piers. It is expected that certain portions of the line will be shortly opened for traffic, the first being that from Lucknow to Byram Ghat.

8O. The gross earnings on the open line amounted to 24,583/., and the ordinary maintenance and working charges were 17,605/., but of the expenditure which has been incurred in replacing the original light permanent way with rails and sleepers of a heavier description, a sum of about is regarded as a revenue charge and will have to be paid out of future earnings.

Carnatic Railway. Paragraph 81; Page 37

81. The surveys and plans for the extension of this line have been made, but the sanction of the Government has not yet been given to the commencement of operations. It has been proposed to construct it with the 3-feet 33/8 inch gauge, at an estimated cost of 4,900/. per mile. No further delay, it is to be hoped, will occur in laying out the line and proceeding with the works.

Calcutta and South Eastern Railway. Paragraph 82; Page 37

82. The State Railways have been described in the early part of this report, with the exception of the Calcutta and South-eastern, leading from Calcutta to the Mutlah, which was surrendered to the Government by the company which constructed it, and is not. Yet in a prosperous condition, the results of the working during the year again exhibiting a small loss.

Summary and Conclusion. Paragraphs 83-92; Page 37,38

83 It now only remains for me to recapitulate briefly the particulars given in the foregoing pages.

84. The extent of railway communication now open in India is 5,051 miles, of which 557 miles were completed last year, and 211 since the beginning of the present year. The three presidency towns and the capitals of the North-West provinces, and of the Punjab are now united, and the system of trunk lines laid out by Lord Dalhousie may be regarded as completed. This has been affected at a cost of 70,000,000/. and profits at the rate of about .31 per cent. upon this sum were earned last year. A further sum of about 18,000,000/. has been expended upon the other lines open for traffic and upon those which are in progress, making a total outlay of 88,000,000/. upon railways up to the 31st March last.

85. Materials to the value of more than 28,000,000/. have been sent out from this Shipments. country for the railways since their commencement; and 263,499 tons, purchased for 1,611,512/., were despatched last year. There are now nine companies, representing 51,887 shareholders, 5,367 bond or debenture holders, and 1,392 holders of debenture stock. Of this number 51,519 are Europeans, and 368 natives of India.

86. It has not been a good year for traffic. The gross receipts were about 6,214,000/., of which 1,924,000/. was obtained from passengers, and 4,150,0001. from the conveyance of goods, The expenses amounted to about 3,368,000/. leaving a net revenue of 2,846,000/., showing an excess of 340,000/. over last year; but the mileage open and the capital expenditure have increased in a greater ratio.

87. The amount paid by the Government for guaranteed interest last year was Guaranteed last year was 4,212,577/. The net receipts fall short of this, leaving a sum of. about 1,366,000/. to be borne by the revenues of the country. During the first half of the year the East Indian Railway Company earned surplus profits and divided with the Government a sum of 130,094/. 13s. 3d. therefrom.

88. The results produced on some of the lines were satisfactory. On others there is room for improvements especially in regard to the reduction of working expenses. While the expenditure of some was in the proportion of 42 per cent. of the gross receipts, that of others was as high as 79 per cent. The train mileage receipts varies from 10.55d. to 2.52d., and the expenses from 6.39d. to 2.84d.

89. Of the 18,224,859 passengers conveyed, 92.73 per cent. were of the lowest Passengers. classes; 6.52 per cent. second class; and 0.75 per cent. first class with last year, there was an increase of 1,800,000 in the number of passengers. Goods to the amount of 3,435,269 tons and 425,057 head of livestock, were carried, compared with 3,359,792 tons and 430,983 head of livestock carried in the previous

90. Accidents have not been so numerous as in previous years, but a very serious Accidents year one occurred on the Madras line, by which eight lives were lost. A bridge over a river gave way, and a train was precipitated into the water. During the whole year 3 passengers lost their lives, and of these nine through causes within their Control.

91. conference of Government and railway officers was held during the year, and several minor questions connected with the working of the lines and the character the rolling stock were discussed and settled. This will probably be the first of series of such meetings, and much advantage may be expected from them.

92. The new gauge for certain future undertakings has been fixed at 3 feet 33/8 inches, that is, the French metre. Most of the State lines will be constructed on this scale While the question of gauge was under consideration operations in. connection with the Government works were, with one or two small exceptions, kept in abeyance. Surveys have, however, been made of certain lines, for which estimates designs are being prepared, and the promise of considerable progress during the next two or three years has been given.
I have the honour to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's very obedient humble servant,

Further Information

See Annual Administration Reports for Railways

and Rail gauge#Gauge Question