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The Peking Syndicate (Ltd.) acts as manager and administrator of this line. There is a managing director (Chinese), but the staff is all British. The Peking Syndicate is represented in Peking by a resident agent general and engineer in chief, with offices in the Legation Quarter at Peking.
PURCHASE OF STORES.
The purchases of this line have been very small for some time, but the writer was advised by Mr. Frodsham, assistant agent general of the Peking Syndicate, that it expects to undertake considerable work at the conclusion of the war, and that it will continue its policy of making purchases so far as practicable from British sources
. Until such time as the Chinese take more active control of this line it will probably remain practically a closed market.
KAIFENG-HONAN (PIENLO-LUNGHAI) LINES. This system is known by a variety of names, but the official English name used by the Ministry of Communications as KaifengHonan Lines. The Chinese name for the central or original section is Pienlo, and the system is frequently so designated. The eastern section is known as the Eastern Lunghai, and the western section as the Western Lunghai. The system is often referred to as the Lunghai Lines, and at times as the Pienlo-Lunghai Lines.
LOCATION AND EXTENT.
The eastern terminus is at Hsuchowfu, where connections are made with the Tientsin-Pukow. This point is about 210 miles north of Pukow, to which port on the Yangtze River a considerable portion of the business originating on this line is taken. The line runs in a westerly direction through western Kiangsu and northern Honan to Kwanyintang (a total of 344 miles), passing through the important Chinese cities of Kaifengfu and Honanfu and crossing the Peking-Hankow Railway at Changchow, about 430 miles south of Peking and 320 miles north of Hankow. An extension of this line is now under construction farther west to Sianfu, the capital of the Province of Shensi. A considerable part of this line runs through the section of China that is frequently subject to floods, which at times cause much damage. The railway has been a means of affording relief to people made destitute by these floods. There are extensive coal deposits along the central and western portions of the line, but up to the present time there have been no extensive developments.
The Pienlo section of this line from Kaifengfu to Hunanfu, a distance of about 120 miles, was first suggested in 1899. The preliminary agreement was made in 1902 between Mr. Sheng, then director general of the Chinese Imperial Railways, and Monsieur Armand Rouffant, representing a Belgian company, the Compagnie Générale des Chemins de Fer et Tramways en Chine. This contract provided a loan of £1,000,000, issued at 90 and bearing 5 per cent interest, to run a total of 30 years, amortization to begin the eleventh
year, but with the important privilege of refunding at par any time after the beginning of amortization. The construction of this part of the line was carried out very expeditiously, to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.
In 1912 and 1913 the Chinese authorities decided to extend this line, and as they could not raise the necessary funds from native sources and the above agreement gave this Belgian company preference for furnishing further funds, an additional loan of 250,000,000 francs was negotiated and issued at 94 par, 5 per cent interest, amortization beginning the eleventh year of the loan, and the loan to run a total of 40 years, with the right of redemption of part or all of the loan any time after the tenth year at 102).
This new agreement made a very important revision in the first agreement, in cancelling the clause for the Belgian company to receive 20 per cent of the net profits. The new loan does not grant the company this portion of the net profits. Both these agreements are, in all features, very similar to the Peking-Hankow original agreement, in which case the loan was refunded by the Anglo-French loan in 1908. Payment of interest and principal is guaranteed by the Chinese Government, and the railway property is also security for this loan.
While this loan was with a Belgian company, most of the actual funds came from French subscribers.
The control of the loan is still Franco-Belgian, with the French interests largely predominating, no doubt.
CLASS OF TRAFFIC.
In 1916 the traffic earnings on the original line, the Pienlo section, were about equally divided between passenger and freight receipts, but with the extensions and development of business there will probably be a greater increase of freight traffic than of passenger traffic. The larger part of the freight traffic consisted of mineral and agricultural products, coal being the largest item.
PRESENT PROFITS AND OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE.
The Pienlo section, with earnings of nearly $1,287,000 in 1916, showed a surplus approaching $23,000 after payment of all operating expenses and income charges.
As already mentioned, this line is now being extended to Sianfu, the capital of the Province of Shensi. Several further extensions are considered and probably will be made in the course of time, particularly one to Lanchowfu, the capital of the Province of Kansu, à distance of some 300 miles. It has also been proposed to extend this line to a port east of Hsuchowfu, but the building of this extension is probably somewhat remote and hardly seems warranted in view of the present connections with the Peking-Hankow and Tientsin-Pukow Railways, which make available through interchange of traffic to the Yangtze River ports of Hankow and Pukow.
ROADWAY AND TRACK MATERIALS—ROLLING STOCK-WORKSHOPS.
Portions of this line, particularly the western parts, run through a rough country, which has made construction both difficult and expensive, requiring a considerable number of tunnels and bridges. The line, however, is well and substantially built, although, as on other Chinese railways, the bridges are designed and constructed along the lines of those on the Peking-Hankow. All the roadway and track materials follow the Franco-Belgian standards and practice, and most of them came from Belgium or France, including the first rail, which was in 12-meter (47-foot 3-inch) lengths. The rail used for recent construction has been the 85-pound Chinese section from the Han-Yeh-Ping works.
This system, like other Chinese Government Railways, has a rather small amount of rolling stock. This is along the lines of the FrancoBelgian practice and most of it is of French or Belgian manufacturo but assembled in the workshops at Chengchow.
The general repair shops are at Chengchow and are arranged for the assembling of manufacturing equipment and for the making of all classes of repairs to the rolling stock of these lines.
ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL.
There is a director general of these lines, who is now located at Peking. There are also at present several managing directors, but it is probable that, after the completion of the construction, the organization of this line will be changed to the usual operating arrangement, with one managing director in charge of the system, who will probably be located at Chengchow. At present the technical management is almost entirely in the hands of the Belgian staff.
The writer was unable to obtain information enabling him to prepare a complete directory of this line (see p. 265), particularly as regards the separation of the permanent organization from the temporary construction organization.
PURCHASE OF STORES.
Much difficulty has been experienced in obtaining the needed materials for the construction of this line. Since the beginning of the war, much material has been bought from whatever sources were available, when it could not be got in China. It is probable that this line will adopt the general policy of purchases already referred to in connection with the Peking-Hankow line; in fact, it seems quite probable that in the course of time the purchases for the PekingHankow Railway, the Cheng-Tai Railway, and the Kaifeng-Honan system may be consolidated and supervised by the Ministry of Communications, especially as the requirements of these lines are more nearly alike than those of any other three lines in China that are all physically connected.
This line will require a considerable amount of additional roiling stock for the operation of the extensions now nearing completion, and it is not thought probable that the need for this can be deferred until such time as it can be furnished from Belgium or France after the end of the war. In fact, information has been received from the American commercial attaché at Peking that the Kaifeng-Honan Railway administration, through the Belgian minister at Peking, has made inquiry concerning the purchase of the equipment from American sources-not only rolling stock but also roadway and track materials.
SHANGHAI-NANKING (HU-NING) RAILWAY.
LOCATION AND EXTENT.
This line starts at Shanghai, at present the most important trading center in China, and extends for 193 miles in a northwesterly direction across the Province of Kiangsu and through the important Chinese cities of Soochow and Chinkiang to Nanking, on the south bank of the Yangtze River, where there is ferry connection with the Tientsin-Pukow Railway at Pukow. There is a 10.5-mile branch from Shanghai to the port of Woosung on the Yangtze River.
This line is the first link of what at one time promised to be a very extensive system of British railways in China, to cover the entire length of the Yangtze River Valley and finally to connect with the Indian system of railways through Yunnan and Burma. The proposed Pukow-Sinyang line already mentioned was to be a second link in this connection, which would give entrance to Hankow over the Peking-Hankow Railway. The next link was to be the proposed Hankow-Szechwan line to Chengtu, the capital of the rich and important Province of Szechwan. The fourth link was to be a line from Chengtu to Yunnanfu and the fifth link a line from this point to the Burma frontier. The consummation of the plan for this system appears to be remote at the present writing.
The preliminary agreement for the Shanghai-Nanking line was signed in May, 1898, between Mr. Sheng, then director general of the Chinese Imperial Railway Administration, and the British & Chinese Corporation, for which concern the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation were the bankers. On account of the Boxer troubles the final agreement was not concluded until July, 1903, and the line was not finally completed and put in service until March, 1908. This railway loan agreement provided for an amount not to exceed £3,250,000, to be issued at 90, bearing 5 per cent, and interest during construction was paid out of the proceeds of the loan on the above terms; £2,225,000 was issued in 1904, and a second issue was made in 1907, but this last was at 951. The date of maturity of both of these issues is 1954, 50 years from the date of the first issue, and both issues are redeemable at 1021 from 1917 to June, 1929, inclusive, and for the remaining 25 years at par. In connection with a special clause in the agreement regarding land purchases, a third issue was made in December, 1913, for £150,000, issued at 92 and paying 6 per cent interest, and this issue is to mature November 30, 1923.
In addition, there is a complicated provision for certificates to be issued for one-fifth of the outstanding loan--these certificates to be issued to the corporation and to be paid at the dates of the redeeming of the bonds, this payment to be made from 20 per cent of the surplus earnings after payment of all expenses and income charges. There is a somewhat similar provision for the Government to issue certificates for the other four-fifths of the loan, which in turn provides for the disposition of the other 80 per cent of the surplus earnings. This clause has already been the cause of considerable feeling and dis
There has been a good deal of discussion with regard to the high cost of this line. The cost, according to Mr. Kyle's study, was about
$150,000 per mile of line---about $12,000 more than that of the Tientsin-Pukow and about $38,500 more than the average cost of all the Chinese Government Railyays. One result of this is to give force to the Chinese contention that the foreign engineer-in-chief of such lines should not have unlimited authority as to the making of expenditures. This line, however, extends through a densely populated district and was well and substantially built, with commodious and ornate stations. The capital for the construction of this line was entirely from British subscribers.
On December 31, 1916, there were outstanding capital obligations to the amount of $33,628,185, of which $29,955,184 represented mortgage bonds and $3,672,671 permanent investments in the property by the Chinese Government. On the same date there was an accumulated deficit of $2,164,800, of which $1,910,224 represented unextinguished discounts on the funded debt. There is no provision in the loan for yearly amortization, the only provision being the redemption arrangement_already mentioned. Financial control of the mortgage bonds is in British hands through the British & Chinese Corporation.
CLASS OF TRAFFIC.
The passenger earnings of this line for the years 1915 and 1916 were about two and three-fourths times as much as the freight earnings, but the freight traffic for some years past has been growing faster than the passenger business. Both passenger fares and freight rates are lower on this line than on any of the other Chinese Government Railways, on account of competition from canal and river transportation. The railway has increased the freight rates considerably in the last few years; between January, 1913, and February, 1915, three $2 advances were made on certain wagon-load rates.
No extensions of this line are contemplated at the present writing.
PRESENT PROFITS AND OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE.
Both passenger and freight business has been growing steadily, freight rates have been advanced from time to time, and each year is showing a better operating ratio. In 1916, with an increase in operating revenues of $400,000 over 1915, there was a decrease in operating expenses of about $20,000. This line runs through a densely populated district, with varied agricultural products and with a growing industrial development, and although there is and will be little mineral traffic the line will probably show an increasing profit from year to year.
ROADWAY AND TRACK MATERIALS.
The roadway and track materials of this line are strictly along the lines of British practice, and most of the materials are of British manufacture, although in recent years some American devices have been used, such as rail anchors. All bridges on this line are permanent structures, following British practice, and are somewhat heavier than the bridges on some of the other Chinese railways, particularly the Peking-Hankow.