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SOURCE OF CAPITAL.
The original capital used was in connection with the development of the Kaiping coal field and was largely Chinese, but with a considerable British interest and under British supervision. Money was later secured from various sources until the British loan for 16,000,000 taels was made in 1898, at which time the principal outstanding obligations were loans from the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, totaling 1,240,000 taels, the Russo-Chinese (now Russo-Asiatic) Bank, 600,000 taels, and the Deutsch
Asiatische Bank, 700,000 taels--a total of 2,540,000 taels, all of which was refunded with the above loan.
As shown by the table on page 53, the total investment assets of the Peking-Mukden Railway December 31, 1916, amounted to $60,467,577, against which there are outstanding obligations amounting to $43,480,007–Chinese shareholders, $26,142; Chinese Government, $23,903,392; British-held bonds, $19,320,000; and Japaneseheld bonds, $230,473. It will be noticed from this that there are investment assets of this property amounting to $16,987,570 for which there are no outstanding securities.
PRESENT CONTROL. While the provisions of the agreement of 1898 are still nominally in force and a British engineer in chief is in charge of the property, on account of the great margin of safety on this loan there have been concessions of considerable extent to the Chinese in the control and management of this system, particularly as to the releasing of the surplus funds to the Chinese Government for other uses. One such use has been the building of the Peking-Suiyuan line with the profits from the operation of the Peking-Mukden system. Thus far, however, the British have retained rather closely the prerogatives as to purchase of materials, equipment, and supplies.
CHARACTER OF TRAFFIC.
The operating receipts for 1916 amounted to $14,542,518, of which 46 per cent was from passenger traffic and 54 per cent from freight business. Other revenues are not included in these figures but are included in the gross earnings shown in the table on page 57. Reference has already been made to the classes of passenger travel and the division of earnings in this connection. Sixty-four per cent of the tonnage carried and 42 per cent of the revenue for 1916 represented mineral products (largely coal), 10 per cent of the tonnage and 23 per cent of the revenue agricultural products, and 9 per cent of the tonnage and 17 per cent of the revenue manufactured products.
For the year ended December 31, 1916, the operating revenues of this system fell off $468,207, but operating expenses were also reduced $1,626,023, so there was a balance to net revenue from operations of $8,856,148. The operating ratio was reduced from 49.61 per cent in 1915 to 40.32 per cent in 1916.
The operating ratio of this line has always been very low and the results profitable, and there is no doubt that, with proper manage
ment, this will remain a very profitable railway property in the future.
At the present writing no extensions of this system are contemplated and, so far as can be predicted, none are likely to be undertaken, except short branches.
ROADWAY AND TRACK MATERIALS. All construction and maintenance methods and materials aro along the recognized lines of British practice. Practically all the bridges are permanent structures, and recently all structural requirements have been fabricated at the Shanhaikwan bridge works of the railway. The bridge over the Liao River about 40 miles from Mukden consists of twenty 100-foot spans, is one of the longest bridges in China, and was fabricated at the above-mentioned bridge works. The track is laid mostly with 85-pound rail and is generally well ballasted with broken stone. A number of places were noticed where rail anchors could have been used to much advantage to prevent rail movement, but apparently little had been done toward anchoring the rail. All track is laid with square joints, in accordance with the general British and Continental practice.
For some years past most of the rolling stock for this line, with the exception of a few American locomotives recently purchased, has been erected at the Tangshan shops. Most of this rolling stock conforms, in general, to British practice, and the materials used are largely from British sources. A certain amount of this equipment has been built along the special lines followed in China, but there is a growing, tendency toward the use of freight cars of larger capacity, and most of the recent equipment has been built with four-wheel trucks (bogies). Figures 26 and 27 show some of the equipment built at these works in recent years.
The average tractive capacity of the Peking-Mukden passengerservice locomotives is approximately 20,000 pounds and that of the freight locomotives about 31,000 pounds. The average capacity of passenger cars is about 65 people per car and the average capacity of freight cars about 47,500 pounds per car. Nearly all freight cars built in recent years have been of 66,800 pounds capacity, or 30 long tons, and very few four-wheel wagons have been built for some years.
The principal workshops are those at Tangshan, which have already been mentioned a number of times. These shops are well arranged and fairly well equipped and are in close proximity to the Kaiping coal field, assuring a cheap and reliable supply of fuel. These works are not only capable of handling all classes of repairs to the rolling stock of this system but have in the past built a considerable part of the rolling stock, particularly passenger and freight cars, as well as some locomotives for the other Chinese Government railways, such as the Peking-Suiyuan and Kirin-Changchun lines. In connection with the administration of the shops there is a small number of Europeans, all of whom are British, but not enough by any means to take care of all the details of management. A considerable number of Chinese are employed in administrative and technical positions, and all power-plant engineers, cranemen, electricians, and other special employees of similar character are Chinese. This is in contrast with the Shakako workshops of the South Manchuria Railways at Dairen, where all such positions are filled by Japanese. These latter works will be specially referred to later in connection with the South Manchuria Railway Co.
Common day labor at the Tangshan shops is paid $0.30 Mex. Experienced shop artisans are paid from $0.70 or $0.80 up to $1 Mex., and workmen such as the best boilermakers are paid as high as $1.30 Mex. Employees called “No. 2 men,” who are really foremen of their respective sections, are paid $54 Mex. per month. These men are next to the general foremen of shops, who are either foreigners or educated Chinese whose salaries come under regulations established by the Ministry of Communications.
TANGSHAN RAILWAY AND MINING COLLEGE.
Education of Chinese for administrative and technical positions in railway service was first undertaken at Shanhaikwan. In 1907 arrangements were made with the Chinese Engineering & Mining Co., now the Kailan Mining Administration, and the Tangshan Railway and Mining College was established for the education of Chinese railway and mining engineers. The present buildings take care of about 160 students, including boarding accommodations; very comfortable residences are provided for the president of the college and the members of the faculty, of whom at present two are British and two American. The establishment of this institution was due largely to the foresight of the late president of the Chinese Republic, Yuan Shih Kai, who at that time was Viceroy of the Province of Chihli.
ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL.
The promulgated organization of this line has already been given in detail on page 65. The foreign staff on this railway is entirely British, and the agreement of 1898 is still in force, providing that the engineer in chief and the chief of accountants shall be British subjects. As a result, the technical foreign staff has always been almost entirely British.
A directory of the principal officials in the Peking-Mukden organization is given on page 261. There are also given the names of the London agents and the consulting and inspecting engineer with offices in London.
PURCHASE OF STORES.
The purchase of all classes of stores is done by the stores superintendent under the direction of the engineer in chief. The stores superintendent and the general stores depot are located at Hsinho, about 25 miles from Tientsin and near the Taku anchorage, which is the point where ocean vessels discharge much cargo instead of going up the Pei-ho to Tientsin. The policy of this line in normal times is to purchase imported supplies so far as practicable from British sources.
PEKING-SUIYUAN (KIN-SUI) RAILWAY.
LOCATION AND EXTENT. This line connects with the Peking-Mukden and Peking-Hankow Railway at Fengtai, runs along the west wall of the Chinese and Tartar Cities of Peking and then extends in a northwesterly direction to Nankow, over the West Hills, via Nankow Pass, to Kalgan, thence to Tatung and to the present western terminus, Fengchen, 266 miles from Fengtai. The Mentowkow branch leaves the main line at Hsichihmen station at the northwest corner of the city of Peking, reaching important coal deposits 16 miles distant, in a westerly direction. There is also what is called the "Round Peking City Branch," connecting with the main line at this last-named station and running along the north, east, and south walls of the Tartar City and going into the Chengyangmen station of the Peking-Mukden Railway.
Kalgan, after Peking, is the most important point on this line. Kalgan is the present terminus of the caravan travel from Mongolia and in many ways is one of the most interesting places of trade in China. For an inland town the population is very mixed, and the number of articles traded in is very varied, including hides, furs, wool, camel's hair, and similar commodities.
This line, in crossing the West Hills, rises on a 34 per cent grade, or, as it is usually expressed in this part of the world, a grade of 1 in 30. As already mentioned, this part of the line is through rough mountain country. The remainder is through fairly easy or moderately rough country, from the standpoint of railway construction.
This line has been built entirely by Chinese engineers and with funds controlled by the Chinese Government. The construction was started in October, 1905, and was completed to the following places in the order and dates shown: To Nankow in September, 1906; to Kalgan in September, 1909; to Tunchun in June, 1911; to Changsui in April, 1912; to Tatungfu in April, 1915; and to Fengchen, the present terminus, in September, 1915.
Dr. Jeme Tien-Yow, who graduated from Yale in 1881 and has since become the most prominent Chinese civil engineer (being now the director general of the Hukuang Railways) was chief engineer during the construction to Kalgan. Mr. K. Y. Kwong, who graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1881 and is now chief engineer of the North Section of the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, was chief engineer during the construction to Fengchen.
The Chinese have good reason to be proud of the building and operation of this railway, which is well located, is substantially built, and has been successfully operated from the standpoint both of service furnished and of financial returns on the cost of construction. The historical statement with regard to these lines in the 1915 annual report seems of sufficient interest to warrant the quoting of the following parts, which are literal translations from the Chinese text:
PEKING-KALGAN SECTION. In the fourth moon, thirty-first year of Kwangsu (1905), His Excellency Yuan Shi-Kai, and His Excellency Wu Chu-Fan, the then directors-general, memorialized
1 EDITOR'S NOTE.-The death of Dr. Jeme has recently been reported.
the Throne for authority to construct this line with purely Chinese funds, and the construction work was also to be undertaken entirely by Chinese officers, without engaging any foreign experts. Consequently Dr. Jeme Tien-Yow was specially deputed as the engineer in chief to conduct the said construction solely.
The work was commenced on the ninth moon of the thirty-first year of Kwangsu (1905), and the entire line was completed on the eighth moon of the first year of Hsuan Tung, a period of four years.
This was the first railway that was built by purely Chinese officers, and it was greatly admired by both European and American tourists. The distance of this line was 357 li (122 miles), or 449 li, if sidings are included. The whole undertaking cost 7,085,000 taels or thereabouts. The funds for the construction of the PekingKalgan line were appropriated yearly out of the surplus earnings of the PekingMukden line, after deduction of the payments of the six months' interest and capital for the loan.
As the Peking-Kalgan Railway was nearing completion, the Board of Communications was meditating the extension of this line from Kalgan to Urga (Kulun) or to Suiyuancheng. But, considering the scarcity of goods between Kalgan and Urga, it was thought more convenient to extend the line to Kweihwa and Suiyuancheng. Moreover, from the standpoint of business importance, if extensions were made from Kalgan to Tatung, Fengchen, Kweihwa, and Hokow, which are all busy commercial centers, locally, we should be able to obtain the advantage of easy transportation of coal and foodstuffs from Tatung and Yangkow; afar, we also would have the chance to collect the furs and live stock of Urga and Ninghsia. Furthermore, in the future passengers as well as goods from the west and north might be "gathered together like clouds." Hence, huge profits for the railway might reasonably be expected. The extension work of this line was approved by Imperial sanction in the seventh moon of the first year of Hsuan Tung (1909). The construction began on the third moon of the second year of Hsuan Tung (1910). The length of theline was 689 li (235 miles), and the estimated cost of the construction work was 16,060,000 taels, or approximately that. The funds for the construction of this line were similarly appropriated by installments out of the surplus earnings of the Peking-Mukden Railway, and the remainder was to be made up out of the earnings of the Peking-Kalgan Railway.
The extension of the Changsui Railway was approved by the Imperial Government, under the amalgamated management of the officers of the Peking-Kalgan Railway, with the temporary name of “Changsui Extension,” without having a separate administration for this line, in order to prevent unnecessary expenditure.
PEKING-MENTOWKOW BRANCH LINE.
In the western hills of the capital the coal products were so rich that hitherto people and merchants of this locality have relied upon the coal as their means of livelihood.
As transportation of coal depended solely upon camels, the freight on coal was high and its consumption limited. Consequently the merchants jointly petitioned the Board of Trade that shares should be subscribed by merchants for constructing this branch line with a view to developing the coal trade. But the Ministers of the Board of Trade were afraid that if the capital were subscribed by merchants, bad results might ensue as a result of mismanagement, since this was an important location near the Imperial Capital.
Therefore this kind of branch line should be constructed out of Government funds. At length Imperial sanction was obtained to have the construction of this branch line carried out simultaneously with that of the Peking-Kalgan Railway, the length of this branch line being 40 odd li (16 miles), and the cost of its construction being more than 561,000 taels.
ROUND-CITY BRANCH LINE. The main line of this railway originates from Fengtai, passing Kwanganmen and Hsichihmen of the capital in a northerly direction. The inhabitants living near these localities enjoy the privilege of traveling by train, while those from the various places in the eastern and northern parts of the city are still experiencing great inconvenience in traveling by rickshaws, mule carts, and carriages. In the third year of the Republic of China (1914) the Ministry of Communications, in order to improve transportation facilities in the metropolitan municipality, petitioned the Government for authority to construct a round-city branch line, proposing that the construction work and the raising of funds be undertaken by the Peking-Kalgan Railway. The petition was approved in a mandate issued on the 28th day of May of the same year.