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Harrisburgh City Passenger Railway Company, Harrisburgh, Pa.
The following changes in membership have taken place by withdrawal, con. solidation and change of name :
The Companies that have withdrawn are :
By consolidation, The Cambridge, Metropolitan, South Boston and Boston Consolidated Street Railway Companies, all of Boston, were merged into The West End Street Railway Company, of Boston, which became a member in place of the others.
The Montreal City Passenger Railway Company, of Canada, has changed its name to The Montreal Street Railway Company, and retains its membership under the new name.
The Citizens' Passenger Railway Company, of Pittsburgh, has been changed to The Citizens' Traction Company, and retains its membership under the new name.
The Pittsburgh, Oakland and East Liberty Passenger Railroad was purchased by The Pittsburgh Traction Company, which latter Company became a member in place of the former.
By consolidation of the Worcester Street Railway Company, formerly a member, and the Citizens' Street Railway Company, not a member, the Worcester Consolidated Street Railway Company, of Worcester, Mass., was formed, and became a member in place of the first named Company.
Resulting from the foregoing changes the present membership is 157 Companies.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES. Immediately following the last meeting of the Association, the Executive Committee decided that reports should be provided, in addition to that which had already been arranged for by a Special Committee, namely, “Street Railway Mutual Fire Insurance," upon the following subjects, viz : Conditions necessary to the Financial Success of the Cable Power ;". Location and Construction of Car House and Stables ;" “ Progress of Electric Motive Power" and “Street-Railway Taxation." The Committee believes that reports have been prepared upon all but one of these subjects, namely, Progress of Elec tric Motive Power."
By reason of the comparative novelty of the subject, some difficulty was experienced at the outset in assigning the work of the preparation of that report to any gentleman connected with the Association. Our highly esteemed friend, Mr. Calvin A. Richards, a former President of this Association, and at the time General Manager of the West End Street Railway Company, of Boston, finally consented to prepare the report, he having given, as was well known to most of us, much thought and attention to the subject. The retirement of Mr. Richards from the management of the West End Street Railway Company, as well as from the street-railway business, resulted in his desire to be relieved from the preparation of the report.
The officers of the Association knew of no one who was then willing to pre. pare the report, and as it was not deemed expedient to have it presented by any one who could not be a delegate to this meeting, this subject will not be treated otherwise than by discussion. There will, we trust, be considerable discussion upon this very important subject, which is at the present time receiving so largely the attention of street-railway men all over the country, both as inventors and operators. It has come to our knowledge that a number of gentlemen prominently connected with several electrical systems intend to be present at this meeting, and the information which may thus be obtained need only be limited by the length of time which the Association may be able to give to the consideration of the subject.
JUDICIAL OPINIONS AND DECISIONS. The following Judicial Opinions and Decisions have been issued during the year :
1887. November, H. B. McCurdy against Pittsburgh, Allegheny and Manchester
Passenger Railway Company. December, Pittsburgh and Birmingham Passenger Railway Company against
Monongahela Bridge Company.
1888. January, Nathan Lorie against North Chicago City Railway Company. February, The City of Montreal against the Montreal Street Railway Com
pany. March, The People of the State of New York ex rel. The West Side St.
Ry. Co. against Joseph E. Barnard, Comptroller, Buffalo. April, Isabella Cuming against Brooklyn City Railroad Co. May, Ellen Kelly against New York and Sea Beach Railway Co. June, The Newark and South Orange Horse Car Rallroad Co. against
Ezra M. Hunt et al. July, James Black against Brooklyn City Railroad Co. August, Charles Dibb against Dry Dock, East Broadway and Battery
Railroad Co. September, James M. Bradshaw against Citizens' St. Railway Co. of Indian
apolis. October, City Railway Co., of Trenton, against William H. Lee.
AMERICAN STREET-RAILWAY DECISIONS.
At the last Annual Meeting there was considerable discussion upon the ques. tion of the collation and publication of all obtainable legal opinions concerning street-railways. The question was finally referred to this Committee.
Your Committee determined to go to the expense of ascertaining whether the
Association was justified in undertaking the publication of such a work letter was therefore sent to every officer of every street-railway company in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, accompanied with a sample copy of the work, covering sixteen pages, and a blank subscription order form. The following is a copy of the letter :
OFFICE OF THE
BROOKLYN, June 1st, 1888. Dear Sir:-I take pleasure in sending you herewith a few pages from the proposed compilation of American Street-Railway Decisions of the Courts of the United States and Canada. This is in pursuance of a resolution referring the subject to the Executive Committee, after a lengthy discussion at the Annual Meeting of the American Street- Railway Association in October, 1887, at Philadelphia, Pa.
It is proposed in this work to make a collection of all reported cases (and of as many unreported cases as practicable), with the Opinions in full.
As will be readily understood, the larger the number of subscribers the less will be the cost to each. The volumes will average 500 pages each, and be bound in law sheep. The index will be complete, and table of cases cited accurate.
If an edition of five hundred copies can be safely published, each volume can sold for $5.00. The amount of street-railway litigation already reported is large, and it is impossible to state at present how many volumes will be required to bring the subject matter to date. It is, however, probable, that five or six volumes will contain everything. In the discussion referred to, some of the gentlemen thought a digest was all that was needed, while others desired the opinions and cases reported in full. If a digest only were issued, it would be necessary for every owner of the digest to own also copies of all the reports, or, at least, have access to them in some large library, while if the cases are reported in full, and a digest of them prepared, the whole subject will then be contained in, and covered by, the volumes intended to be issued.
It is in the power of railroad officers and lawyers to make this collection of decisions unique by forwarding to the Secretary important unreported cases. These will be incorporated in the work, and add largely to its value.
As the edition in any case will be limited, and will hence become more valuable year by year, it is hoped that those who appreciate its utility (and what street-railroad manager or lawyer will not), will be prompt in acknowledging the receipt of this letter, and forward at once the enclosed subscription blank, duly filled out for one or more copies, that the work may be proceeded with immediately. It is possible to have the first volume issued in two months after a sufficient number of subscriptions shall have been received to warrant the publi. cation. Awaiting your reply, I remain,
The following extracts from letters from the Executlve Committee to the Secretary, based upon the receipt of an advance copy of the accompanying sample decisions, will show the judgment of the Committee upon the proposed work.
[From President CHARLES B. HOLMES, Pres., Chicago City Ry. Co.,
Chicago, Ill.] “I do not know of anything that has been undertaken by the Association which promises larger benefit to its members than the plan suggested in your letter, and I most heartily approve of it, and of the method you propose for procuring subscriptions to the publication. A single one of the decisions might save a large number of the members of the Association thousands of dollars in the litigation we are all so often forced to defend. I hope you will see your way clear to push the matter vigorously, not only with the members of the Association, but with all the Street-Railway Companies in America." [From Vice-President Julius E. RugG, Gen. Man., Minneapolis St. Ry. Co.,
Minneapolis, Minn.] “I am of the opinion that it will be of much value to Street-Railway Managers everywhere, and should endorse the plan you propose, to send all Street-Railway Managers blanks and sample copies with a view to obtain their subscriptions."
[From Vice-President R. DUDLEY FRAYSER, Sec., Citizens' St. R. R. Co.,
Memphis, Tenn.] “I think it would be best to get up such a compilation as you propose, and then, if we choose to, we can have a digest to go along with the volumes of Reports.
I think a subscription should be obtained, which, no doubt, can be done, from all the members of the Association, and from street-railroads that are not members of the Association; and I think this will make the subscription sufficient for the publication of the first volume without any loss to the Association. I will approve of this. When this is compiled and the reports are finished, they will be very valuable to street-railroad men.”
[From Vice-President CHARLES B. Clegg, Director, Dayton St. R. R. Co.,
Dayton, 0.] “I am quite agreeable to the proposition you make of sending a similar specimen to every Street-Railway Company. I know of no better way of ascertaining the feeling of members of the Association in regard to the project. I hope you will be successful in obtaining sufficient subscriptions." [From Ex-President Thomas W. ACKLEY, Pres., Thirteenth and Fifteenth
Sts. Pass. R’y. Co., Philadelphia, Pa.] My judgment is that such a compilation of cases would be greatly appreciated by the entire railway interest of the United States. Every Street-Railway would become a subscriber and their counsel another. It should embrace a thorough report of each case.”
[From MR. DANIEL F. Lewis, Pres., Brooklyn City R. R. Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.]
"I concur in your judgment as to sending sample copies to all Street-Railways."
[From Mr. E. G. Mosher, Supt., Augusta and Summerville R. Ř. Co.,
Augusta, Ga.] "I approve of sending copies of specimen pages, such as you sent me, to all members of the Association, and to all Street-Railways, with subscription blanks, to ascertain whether sufficient subscriptions can be obtained to warrant the publication of at least the first volume. Such a work will be of great value to Street-Railways."
As stated in the letter, in order to make it possible to publish the work without loss to the Association, it was necessary that an edition of five hundred copies should be issued. As the result of the printed matter distributed, just 125 subscriptions were received, or one-quarter of the number required to warrant proceeding with the undertaking. If each company that has already subscribed would be responsible for three copies, two of which could be readily disposed of to lawyers in their respective cities, with the number that would be taken by law libraries, the publication could be undertaken at once.
UNITED STATES MAIL LINES.
The question of obtaining the designation of street-railway lines as United States Mail Lines was duly considered by your Committee, and the President, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Secretary were authorized to confer with the Post Office Department upon the subject.
Street cars, especially when drawn by horses, are very greatly obstructed by trucks, carts, wagons and other vehicles; and particularly by those used in trucking. The wheels of most vehicles being set at the same gauge as those of street cars, and the rails on which the car wheels run being smoother than the pavement adjoining, the track is preferred to the stone pavement, especially by truck drivers, greatly to the hindrance of the free passage of the cars.
Several street car lines, which run between towns, and hence, between different post offices, have obtained from the Government the designation of their lines as “ United States Mail Lines,” and are carrying the mails between these postal stations. The result of this designation has been to secure an almost entire freedom from obstruction by other vehicles which either keep off the track altogether, or their drivers are careful to leave the track before the cars reach them. The Committee had several interviews with the Department officers, and it was ascertained that this designation could be obtained for those street car lines only which run between post offices. It being desired to obtain the designation for all Companies alike, the question was considered as to whether the cars might not be equipped with letter boxes, and thus facilitate the collection of the mails. A box suitable for this purpose has been designed ; and the Special Committee desire the question to be continued in its hands, if agreeable to the Association.