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to Bolivia will have its terminus in Rosario.

" But that which gives this port, so well equipped, an in-
comparable value, is the magnificent Parana, which, on the one
hand, places it in direct communication with the sea, and on
the other unites it with the interior by a waterway of several
thousand miles in length, constituting a means of transport
as easy as it is economical, which brings it all the water-
borne traffic of the upper Parana and of the Paraguay."



88 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

The statistics given above show the important place
which this port has taken in the last few years, and the
continued increase of its traffic, which to-day amounts to
some 3,000,000 tons per annum, whereas in 1899 it amounted
only to 1,600,000 tons.

Hitherto these results have been obtained with a rudi-
mentary equipment, and by utilising the fortunate disposi-
tion of the river-banks; but the intense pressure of traffic
occurring at this point proves the necessity of a large
harbour, which would allow the products of the interior to
find their outlet towards the Parana and the sea. The need
has given birth to the means without waiting for modern
improvements.

To-day the port of Rosario has entered upon a new
phase, which may clear the way for a still greater develop-
ment. Its exploitation has been made the object of a con-
cession which, in 1902, was granted to a French company,
having at its head Messieurs Hersent & Son and the Creusot
works, on condition that the latter should undertake the
equipment of the port on modern lines. The scheme com-
prises, among other items, the construction of over 2 miles of
quays and a dock which will, with the existing quays, give
a total of 2f miles ; the construction of warehouses, the
mechanical equipment of the quays, and also the installation
of a grain-elevator of large capacity, which will load a cargo
of 5000 cubic yards in four hours.

To-day this scheme is nearly realised, and Rosario will be
able to meet all the requirements of a perpetually increasing
trade. The new railway lines, which will soon reach the port,
will complete its organisation.

As recompense, the Government has granted the con-
cessionnaires, for forty years, the monopoly of gathering all
harbour dues over a radius of 7"4 miles around the city of
Rosario, and over a distance of 12 "4 miles up-stream and
down-stream. The State shares in the takings of the con-
cession to the extent of 50 per cent, of the net profits after
the expenses of exploitation are deducted, which are estimated
at 40 per cent, of the receipts, and after the subtraction of
the sums necessary for pajdng the interest on and redeeming
the capital engaged.



THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE ARGENTINE 89

From all these data concerning the ports of the Parana,
it will be seen that great eflorts are now being made to
increase the means of communication in proportion to the
economic expansion of the country, and to multiply and
facilitate outlets upon the points nearest to the centres of
production. These efforts are also tending to decentralise
the traffic, to the profit of a larger number of ports: in order
to avoid the over-crowding of a few great centres to the
detriment of other parts of the country. This policy will
have happy results : firstly, from the point of view of the
export trade, since it will decrease the net cost of transport ;
and secondly, from the standpoint of the import trade, as the
imports, instead of converging upon Buenos Ayres and
thence proceeding by rail, will reach the neighbourhood of
the inland centres of consumption more directly and at less
expense.

For these same reasons serious improvements have been
carried out at the port of Bahia Blanca, which is situated on
the sea-coast in the south of the Province of Buenos Ayres,
whose importance has increased more especially since the
opening of the military harbour to commerce. Bahia Blanca
is one of the termini of many railways of the south ; it is
thus connected with the regions of agriculture and stock-
raising on a large scale, which are able to send their produce
directly from this port to Europe. The wool trade is particu-
larly brisk there, and the cereal trade also, since the Pampa
has been transformed into a wonderful agricultural country.

Seconding this development, already stimulated by the
Southern Railway Company, which built the harbour known
as " Ingenio White," the Buenos Ayres and Pacific Railway
Company has also commenced at Bahia Blanca a magnificent
harbour, called Galvan Harbour. Built of reinforced cement,
it is equipped with powerful grain-elevators, built of stone,
splendid iron warehouses, sheds, etc. This harbour, when
completed, will have cost some £10,000,000; it has already
a considerable trade, which will increase in proportion to the
agricultural development of the great belt it is intended to
serve, which includes the Provinces of San Juan, San Luis,
Mendoza, the Territory of the Central Pampa, and a large
part of the Province of Buenos Ayres. The importance of



90 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

this harbour will also be increased by the various railways
which will unite Bahia Blanca to the remote districts of the
Republic. The French company, now building a line running
between Rosario and Bahia Blanca, will also have its own
harbour, the Puerto Belgrano, and is actively carrying on its
construction.

Finally, the creation of a harbour has been projected at
Mar del Plata, the fashionable watering-place of the Argen-
tine, and another in the Bay of Samborombon, two hours
from Buenos Ayres.

To sum up : the Argentine possesses at the present time,
in the matter of ports, an equipment capable of keeping pace
with the growth of its powers of production. Its rivers
are truly arms of the sea, collecting on their banks, thanks
to their numerous ports, the products of the central Pro-
vinces, which are thus connected with the Atlantic over a
distance of more than 600 miles. It is the same on the
Atlantic sea-board, where advantage has been taken of the
least natural facilities afforded by the coast-line to multiply
the outlet to exportation, in proportion as the progress of
agriculture has travelled south.*

It is true that this great organisation can only yield the
true measure of its value in years of good harvests, since
upon the latter all commercial activity depends ; yet it must
be recognised that, however largely the future has been dis-
counted in equipping these ports, the estimates of future
traffic have scarcely ever hitherto been deceptive.

* Among the principal ports of the south we may cite Madryn, Rio Gallego,
Commodoro Rivadavia, and Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego. These ports, by a
wise disposition of the Government, seeking to increase the population and
encourage progress in the southern regions of the Republic, have been made free
ports ; that is all the operations of the douane may be effected without the
payment of fiscal dues.



CHAPTER II

RAILWAYS

Rapid development of the railway system — Tabulation of its extension in each
Province — Table showing the general results of its exploitation — List of
the lines actually running.

List of railway companies, with the length of their roadways and their returns —
The diflBculty of obtaining exact figures — The tariffs of the railway
companies — Form of concessions, and suppression of guarantees.

Comparison of the railway system of the Argentine with the railway systems of
other countries — Proportion of mileage to area and population.

Extension of the system in the near future, owing to the numerous concessions
granted — The mileage of these concessions — Insufficiency of plans and
previous examinations — Examination of the most important concossione for
which the capital is already guaranteed — The dimensions which the railway
system will attain after the concessions are realised — Programme of narrow-
gauge construction ; its value.

Meeting of the Argentine with the Chilian railways crossing the range of the
Andes — The aerial mining railway in the Province of La Rioja.

Railways in relation to agricultural development — Insufficiency of transport at
the moment of harvest ; its causes and remedies — Necessity of a better
organisation which shall respond to the stress of production.

THE same progressive spirit which the Argentine has
manifested in the improvement of inland or maritime
waterways is to be seen in the establishment of its network
of railways. Here again development has been rapid, and
results plainly effectual in making the wealth of the country
available. To cite one example only, it is thanks to the
railways that agriculture and stock-raising have been able
to attain to such large dimensions in the Province of Buenos
Ay res; a Province far less favoured than its northern
neighbours in the matter of waterways. All the line s
running south havegreatly^ contributed to the transforma-
tion of the Pampa and the increase of the cultivated area
over an "immense" radius where before there was nothing but
untilled s oil, which w^as hardly suited_ even for stock -
raising.

The railway has thus played a great part in civilising
91



92 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

the Argentine: raising new wealth from eoil as yet un-
exploited, joining up the chief agricultural centres, and
affording them an outlet to the rivers or the sea. The rail-
way has also been auxiliary to the colonising move ment ,
sXtmulattng the creation of new settlements along its track
by "concessions of soil.

This latter work is not yet terminated, if we are to judge
by the great number of concessions now under consideration,
in which the initiative is due to the State or to private
individuals. On the other hand, there is a great tendency
to build cheap narrow-gauge railways, in order to save
expense either in building or in working, so as to obtain
a final reduction of the freight tariff. In short, we find,
in the case of railways as well as in the case of waterways,
that Mobile the continuation of good harvests is counted
on, there is also an effort to keep up, by multiplying the
means of transport, with the economic expansion of the
country.

It was in_J.854 that the Government of the Province of
Buenos Ayres^ granted the first railway concession, foF sTTTne
24,000 varea* in length, running west from Buenos Ayres.
In 1857 a first section, some 6 miles long, was opened for
traffic.

After these humble beginnings the railway system of
the Argentine developed with great rapidity ; on the 1st of
November 1908, its total length was 13,700 miles, represent-
ing an average development of nearly 273 miles per annum.
All the Provinces are represented in these figures, but of
course in very unequal proportions ; as the opportunities of
construction have not been everywhere the same. Their
installation has gone hand in hand with agricultural develop-
ment ; and the Provinces most adapted to agricu lt ure have
also been favoured with tbe most plentiful means of transit,
as the following table will show.

^mong these Provinces we must note Bu enos Ayres,
^ ^anCaT 'e and CSrdoba as the three which have made most agri-
cultural progress ; for tliey alone furnish more than 80 per cent.

* The vine is equivalent to 886 millimetres, so the length of the line was
about 13 miles. At that period, in the region of the concession, the vare of
land had only a trifling valne.



RAILWAYS



93



of tlie_ total exports. Among the Territories_L|

£Ee greatest mileage of railways ; a mileage which will very

shortly be doubled, to judge by the number of new lines

projected, which in the near future will cross it in every

direction, thus facilitating the outlet of its abundant

produce.

It is in the last ten years that the network of Argentine
railways has reached its full expansion, as is shown by the
second table ; which also gives the amounts of capital invested
in these undertakings.



Mileage of Railway.^ on the \st of November 1908.



Ratio of Mile.ige to Area.



Provinces and
Territories.


Mile.ige.


In kilometres
per loo
sq. kilometres.


In miles
per loo
sq. miles.


Miles per
looo in-
habitants.


Province of Baenos AyreB


458.3-4


2-42


3-89


3 06


,, Santa Fe


2254-1


2-75


4-42


3-o:'.


„ ,, C<jrdoba


1857-1


1-86


3 00


3-66


,, ,, Santiago do I'Estero


810-9


1-27


2-04


4^24


,, Entre Rios


610-5


1-32


2-12


1-58


Territory of Pampa Centrale ...


556-9


-61


-98


9-15


Province of Corrient^s


451-9


•86


1-38


1-42


„ „ Mendoza


410-0


•54


•72


2-25


„ „ Tucumau


384-3


2-68


4-31


1-41


,, „ LaRioja


319-2


-57


-92


3^77


,, ,, San Luis


303-8


-66


1-06


2-97


Territory of Rio Negro


239-4


-20


•32


11-25


Province of Salta


228-0


■23


•37


l-6:i


,, ,, Catamarca ...


226-3


•30


-48


215


,, ,, Jujuy


218-1


•71


1-14


3-81


Territory of Chaco


97-2


-11


•17


4-54


Province of San Juan


85-7


-16


•26


•81


Federal Capital


55-3


47-90


77-12


•05


Territory of Chnbut


43-5


•03


•05


3-96


,, ,, Neuquen


2-6


-004


•006


•10



Total and Averages



94 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY



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RAILWAYS 95

The number o f rail ways at present in operation i a thirty ,
this figure including the railways aud cable tramways
or mechanical traction lines in tlie country districts, both
public and private, as in either case th^^y servo for the
transport of produce. Of these tliirtj" line's t wmty-sfvcn are
worked by private companies and three hy the State. The
latter are lines of no great valtir, which the Government
^s itself constructed, or which it has had to take over,
eTEEef~Tn the general interest or to redeem their heavy
guarantees.

In the matter of comfort the great Argentine railways
leave nothing to be desired, and many Europeans, out of
touch [with the rapid changes of this progressive country,
would certainly be much astonished to learn that one maj^
cross the Pampa or reach the foot-hills of the Andes in
trains equipped with sleeping-cars and restaurant-cars of
the latest type. Perhaps there is rather less orna-
ment and fewer carpets than in the European sleeping-
cars, but the same cleanliness will be found, the same
service, the same conveniences.

The rolling-stock is also the object of incessant improve-
ments. To give only one example, the Southern Railways
Company has placed in service a new type of locomotive,
with two pairs of double-expansion cylinders. These engines
have ten wheels, of which six are coupled and four mounted
in the front on bogies ; their maximum power enables them
to draw an effective load of 2160 tons up an incline of
1 in 500. As for the goods wagons, their capacity
is 40 tons in the broad-gauge lines and 25 tons on the
narrow gauge.

According to statistics, on the 1st November 1908,
the various railways had in service 2992 locomo-
tives, 2031 passenger-cars, and 33,800 goods wagons or
trucks.

The c ompanies are enabled to import free of tariff^ durin_g
the first ten_and sometimes the first twenty years of their
faViff. all their fixed and rolling stock; it is thus to their
a3vantage to obtain from abroad the most effective equip-
ment^m pxder to 'obtain the greatest possible profit from
the governmental favouj;.



96 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

The table given below contains various data as to the
various concessions ; it gives the gauge of the lines, their
mileage, and the profits of the principal companies.



Railways and Steam Tramways of the Argentine Republic
on the 1st of January 1909.



Railways in Operation.

(Length includes branch lines but not auxiliary He
I. State Railways.



or loop lines.)



Andean

Central North
Northern Argentine



Gauge.

1-676 metres
(5 ft. 6 in.)



Mileage,



interest on
Capital.
299 5 -42%

1066 -80

470



•46



II. Pkivate Companies (Conckssionnaires).



Buenos Ayres, Southern

Buenos Ayres, Western ...
Buenos Ayres and Rosario
Central Argentine ...
Buenos Ayres and Pacific ...
Argehtme,' Great Western
Bahia Blanca and North-Western
North-Eastern Argentine

Entre Rios, Central

Buenos Ayres, Central

Province of Santa Fe

Central Cdrdoba (Northern Section)
Central C<5rdoba (Eastern Section)

C6rdoba and Rosario

North-Western Argentine

Ccjrdoba and North-Western
Trans- Andean Argentine ...
Chubut, Central



1-676 metres


2574


4-93


(5 ft. 6 in.)






,,


1181


5-93


,,


1202


4-73


,,


1141


8-31


,,


1013


3-83


.,


483


4-40


,.


548


2-46


1-4S5 metres


194


1-19


(4 ft. S^in.)






,,


534


2-50


,j


135


3-33


1-435 metres


1054


3-0


(4 ft. Si in.)








533


2-62


,,


126


7-37


jj


174


3-01


,,


118


4-32


,,


92


•93


,,


105


(loss) -63


"


42


5-95



11,245



RAILWAYS



97



Railways of thf Second Class, Steam Tramways, Gable
Lines, etc.



I. For Public Service.
Gauge.



Steam Tramway, Rafaela ,



,\ 1 -435 met
I (4 ft. 8i i.



res
in.)



1 metre
(3 ft. 3-4 in.)
Malagueno (connecting with the Central

x\.rgentino

Municipal Tramway of the La Plata
Abattoirs

Ocampo Colony 1 metre

(3 ft. 31-4 in.)

Florencia to Piraeus rO(J7 metres

(3 ft. 6 in.)
Railways of the Entro prin de Las Cata-) l-67(i metres

linas / (5 ft. 6 in.)

Barranqneras to Reeistoncia ... .. -75 metres

(2 ft. 5-3 in.)

Total,



Mileage.

53-40



14 no
2111
12-42
4 07
lG-76

122 -liG



lnter«-5t on
Capital.

•79%



■36



3-;!8
O-40



II. Private.



Tyrol Harbour to Lucinda Colony

Steam Tramway from Piraguacito to"!
Guillermina ... ... ... J

Colony of Las Palmas

Valdez Peninsula



•6 metres
(^3-6 in.)
-75 metres
(2 ft. 5-5 in.)
-G metres
(23-6 in.)
-76 metres
(2 ft. 5-9 in.)

Total,



22-36
53-40
29-20

19-87



Summary.

I. State railways ...
II. Private railways (concessions)
III. Railways of the second class and steam
tramways —

A. Public

B. Private



Mileage.

1765

11,245



119
121



General total, mileage of lines in operation
General total on September 1st



... 13.250
... 14,994



These lines are of very unequal value from the share-
holders' point of view ; but it must be recognised that the
majority, after various vicissitudes, have of late years shown
an increase of revenue that proves their vitality. We may



98 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

cite, as example, one of the Southern lines, such as that
running to Bahia Blanca via Tornquist ; a line built almost
at a loss by the Southern Railway Company of Buenos Ayres,
but which to-day is yielding over 4 per cent., thanks to
the agricultural development which has followed its course.
According to iigures of reliable origin, the traffic of this
line between the stations of General La Madrid and Bahia
Blanca, has increased from 63,580 tons in 1888 to 458,750
tons in 1908, or an increase of 620 per cent, in twenty years,
and even so these figures do not include the through-goods
traffic between these points.

Generally speaking, we may say that the revenues of the
Argentine railways more often than" otherwise exceed
expectation, even in the case of new lines. On the other
hand, it is difficult to reduce the expenses of working, on
account of the special conditions of the traffic, which is only
heavy at the lime of harvest, instead of being distributed
throughout the year.

" We must warn the reader that the summary just given
is of only approximate value. To avoid wounding the sus-
ceptibilities of the State, or in order not to justify dem ands
on the part of the State for lower tariffs, certain of thie
railroad companies publish far lower profits than they
really make, by means of transforming a portion of their
profits to" the reserve or redemption accounts. With the
same object, they sink considerable sums in land purchase
or in permanent-construction work.

Other companies, on the contrary, hoping that the State
will eventually take over certain of their lines, seek to
augment their returns temporarily, in order to obtain a
better sale price.

We may safely say, however, the administrative methods
of the greater companies being what they are, that on the
whole the average revenues are above rather than below
the figures we have given. Accounts are conducted on a
basis of very cautious evaluation, in order to lessen the
shock of a bad harvest.

As for the tariffs of the various companies, they are
still 'very high, as always happens when there is no com-
petition.



RAILWAYS gg

Here are some of the prices of freight per ton, according
to the articles and the distance they are carried : *

Up to so kilometres 300 kilometres or 700 kilometres or

or 30 miles. iSo miles. 421 miles.

Wheat ... 48. 9-4d. to 5s.6-5d. lOs. lid. to 14s. 9-6d. Hs. 9d. to 17b. 2d.

Wool in bale 5s. 8d. to 128. 9d. 268. 3d. to 398. lid. 398. 2d. to 588. Id.

Wool in sacks Ms. lid. to 188.3 -Gd. 478. 6d. to 588. 9d. 728. 3d. to 93s. 8d.

A factor that makes these freights seem even higher is a
comparison with the maritime freights, which fell in 1908 to
a^'ery low figure. The transport of a ton of cereals to a
port of embarkation 3000 miles distant would cost a farmer
four or fivetimes as much as the freight from that port _ti>
Europe.

In a country like the Argentine, presenting an immense'^
level surface to the eye, which can hardly distinguish the
slightest landmark or difierence of level, it would seem as
though the building of railways should have been particularly
inexpensive, especially as for ten to twenty years all
materials could be imported free of duty. As a matter of
fact, however, the cost of construction has been very high /-
in the case of certain lines ; either on account of the land
speculation which has followed their establishment, or because
tlie estimates were exceeded having been established without



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