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and better estimates this amount was increased to 40,000,000 francs. The final agreement was formally ratified September 7, 1902, by an Imperial decree. The loan bears 5 per cent interest and was issued
Amortization began September 1, 1911, and runs for 20 years, but the balance due can be paid any time after the above date. The loan is guaranteed by the Chinese Government. The Belgian company previously mentioned as building the Peking-Hankow line was also given the contract for building this line. Construction was started in 1903, the first rail was laid in 1905, and the line was opened for traffic in 1907.
While this loan was handled by the Russo-Chinese Bank it is probable that most of the funds came from French or Belgian subscribers. Some years ago the Russo-Chinese Bank disposed of all its interest, and the loan is now entirely under French control.
CLASS OF TRAFFIC.
Roughly, the earnings of this line, amounting to something over $2,000,000 a year, are derived 25 per cent from passenger traffic and 75 per cent from freight, and more than 75 per cent of the freight earnings are from the coal business. The coal deposits along this line are among the best in China, and much of the present product is a good quality of semianthracite, which is handled in blocks about 10 by 12 by 16 inches in size. The present coal operations on this line are in territory of the Peking Syndicate concession, mentioned later in connection with the Taokow-Chinghua Railway (see p. 98).
PRESENT PROFITS AND OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE.
The operating expenses are about $1,000,000 and interest charges are $900,000, with the result that there is only a small margin of profit. While the road's business may increase in the future, the line will probably never be one producing large returns, particularly on account of the handicap of the meter gauge, requiring, transshipment of all freight and passengers at the junction with the Peking-Hankow railway.
So far as could be learned no ext sions of this line are now contemplated. When it was built it was thought that it might be the nucleus of a very extensive system, but until the gauge is made 4 feet 8} inches it is not likely that any long lines will be built extending this railway.
ROADWAY AND TRACK MATERIALS—ROLLING STOCK,
The rail is a Belgian section weighing approximately 60 pounds to the yard and, with the fastenings, came from the Han-Yeh-Ping works. Otherwise the remarks regarding the roadway materials on the Peking-Hankow Railway apply in all details to this line.
As on the Peking-Hankow, all the rolling stock is of French and Belgian design and manufacture. This line has 57 locomotives, 51 passenger cars of all classes, 518 freight cars, and 133 service cars. About 70 per cent of this equipment consists of cars suitable for carrying coal, and the average capacity of all cars is over 46,000 pounds, which is high in comparison with the equipment on the lines in China that are of 4 foot 84 inch gauge.
The general repair shops are located at Shihchiachuang, near tho connection with the Peking-Hankow Railway. These are small shops; they are only for the making of all classes of repairs to the rolling stock of this line and no manufacturing of equipment is attempted.
ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL.
This line, while organized along the general arrangement called for by the regulations of the Ministry of Communications, is not provided with anything like the complete organization as outlined for the Peking-Mukden Railway. There is a managing director (Chinese), but the present staff is largely French, this being true to an even greater extent than on the Peking-Hankow Railway. The name shown for this line in the Universal Directory of Railway Officials and Rosenstock's Directory of China is the Tcheng-T'ai Railway.
PURCHASE OF STORES.
For some time past the purchases of this line have been very limited, and when conditions again become normal the former policy of making all possible purchases from France will probably be resumed to a very considerable extent, especially as long as the present French staff is in technical control of the line.
TAOKOW-CHINGHUA (TAO-CHING) RAILWAY.
LOCATION AND EXTENT.
This line is located in northern Honan, the northeastern end being at Taokow, where connection is made with river and canal transportation routes to Tientsin. The fine extends in a southwestward direction to Chinghua and the Jamieson mines, with a total length of line of 95 miles. The Peking-Hankow Railway is crossed at Hsinhsianghsien at about the middle of the line, and this point is also approximately the half-way point between Peking and Hankow, being about 370 miles from Peking and about 380 miles from Hankow. What is more important than the railway in this connection is the location and extent of the mining concession covered by the Peking Syndicate. This still includes all of Honan north of the Yellow River, and did include all of the Province of Shansi south of the Great Wall-a triangle including many thousand square miles and probably containing one of the greatest coal fields in the world, much of the coal being of a very high quality and capable of standing long shipment without deterioration. The Peking Syndicate still retains a mining concession for northern Honan, but the Chinese authorities redeemed the Shansi concession by the payment of 2,750,000 taels, although the syndicate obtained a promise of preferential rights in furnišhing capital for future developments in this area.
The first steps to secure this concession were taken by an Italian, Commendatore Angelo Luzatti, who visited China in 1896, and who apparently studied carefully the mineral resources of this district. He organized a syndicate in 1897 of British and Italian financiers with a capital of £20,000; this was later increased to £1,500,000, and the object of the syndicate was the development of the rich mineral resources of this district and the transportation and marketing of them. He was ably assisted by a Chinese named Ma Kie-chong, who spoke English and French. In the course of time the project became entirely British, and finally an agreement was made with the British & Chinese (British) Corporation to practically pool interests in the further mining and railway developments north of the Yangtze River.
In July, 1905, the Chinese Government entered into an agreement to take over this line by payment in gold bonds at 90, bearing interest at 5 per cent, to the amount of the actual cost plus 10 per cent—the syndicate still to receive 20 per cent of the net profits. The amount of bonds issued was £700,000, to run for 30 years and redeemable after 1916.
The present control of the railway, while nominally in the hands of the Ministry of Communications, is actually British through the medium of the Peking Syndicate.
Of the earnings of this line about 20 per cent are from passenger business and 80 per cent from freight, about 85 per cent of the latter being from coal.
PRESENT PROFITS AND OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE.
The operating revenue of this line was approximately $835,000 in 1916, with operating expenses of $380,700 and interest charges of $380,000—leaving, after the payment of taxes and other income charges, a nominal surplus, 20 per cent of which goes to the Peking Syndicate.
The right of this syndicate to build the extensive system of railways that it has projected has been a subject of long controversy with the Chinese Government authorities. Several long lines have been projected, particularly one to the Yangtze River at Pukow, but at present no active steps are being taken in the building of any extensions. It is probable that further extensions will be built in the development of the coal mines in this district, in which event the line should become increasingly profitable as the coal traffic grows, especially on account of the high quality of the coal and the practicability of transporting it to several seaports. At present shipments can be made to Tientsin, Peking, and Hankow by the Peking-Hankow line and to Pukow by the Peking-Hankow, Pienlo, and TientsinPukow lines. River and canal shipments can also be made from Takow.
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT-WORKSHOPS.
British materials and practice have prevailed entirely on this line.
The equipment of this line is very limited, there being 10 locomotives, 27 passenger cars, and 160 freight cars. These are of British design and manufacture.
This line has somewhat more extensive shops than would seem warranted with the above amount of equipment. Apparently these shops were intended not only for the making of all repairs to rolling stock, but to take care of repairs to the mining equipment as well.