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James Shirley Eaton.

Handbook of railroad expenses online

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and locks, shims, and tie plugs are here classed as " material,"
while oil for switch lamps, or salt to thaw out frozen switch
points are " supplies," and are charged elsewhere.

In general, the items whose maintenance is grouped here, are



56 RAILROAD EXPENSES

the parts of the track (except rail and ties, previously with-
drawn). Track is distinct from the buildings and other struc-
tures, such as tanks, interlocking plants, signals, bridges, docks
and wharves, and the substructure of roadbed and ballast on
which the track is carried, hence " Other Track Material " has
nothing to do with any of the parts of such buildings and struc-
tures or of the roadbed and ballast. The repair and renewal
costs of the parts of the track are charged here, but the expense
of applying the parts in the track is carried over to the more
inclusive account of " Roadway and Track " where the labor
expense of the two large M. of W. and S. composites of roadbed
and track (sometimes called substructure and superstructure)
are thrown together. These two composites are thrown together
probably upon the theory that much of their expense is not
easily separable.

Cost includes all charges up to the point of delivery, but does
not include the cost of putting in place. The track, of which its
u Other Track Material " is chargeable to this account, has been
described under " Bails."

" Other Track Material " is devoted to the regular upkeep
of the track; the cost of replacing parts of track damaged or
lost by washouts would presumably be charged to " Roadway
and Track/'

Comment: Tie plugs and tie plates have no usefulness
except as they extend the life of the tie. They therefore per-
form a part of the tie function and should, we believe, be
charged to the tie function and not to " Other Track Material."

It has been ruled (Case 563) that rail braces or tie plates
added after construction are betterments. These are used to
lengthen the life of the tie, but the creosoting of the tie, which
in another way performs the same function, is not considered
betterments because it does not add separate physical units to
the track. This is plainly a defective classification.

6. " Roadway and Track." This account embraces practi-



MAINTENANCE OF WAY AND STRUCTURES 57

cally all roadway or track maintenance not provided for in the
three preceding accounts. In previous classifications of the
I. C. C. it was a hold-all. It still retains much of its first char-
acter, but it has been subdivided to sub-primary accounts. Hav-
ing set up the material expense items of " Ballast/ 7 " Rail, 77
" Ties/ 7 and " Other Track Material/ 7 there remains a vast body
of expense, much of which is not the direct incident of any single
one of these items, but is general for two or more. Furthermore,
such a body of expense at times is not controlled by the dura-
bility of the rail, ties, ballast and other track material so much as
by outside factors of weather, thaws, freshetSj fires, growth of
w r eeds, etc. After these erratic factors have been taken care of,
it is easier to follow the expense which is directly due to the
renewal of rails, ties and ballast. The factors remaining are the
inherent efficiency of these materials, the volume of traffic, and
the standard and efficiency of the maintenance.

Because weather conditions on different railroads vary so
greatly on account of geographical location, and because such
weather extremes cause heavy outlays, in order to render safe,
comparisons between different roads and between different
periods on the same road, the expense caused by extreme phases
of weather, such as removing snow and ice, is withdrawn to a
separate account.

Tunnels are an irregular factor ; their conditions of main-
tenance special requiring tunnel watchmen, special tools, and
unusual work. The expense of maintenance of tunnels, but not
of the tracks through the tunnels, is therefore also removed to a
separate account.

With these foregoing exceptions, " Roadway and Track 77
includes the maintenance of roadway and track which is in com-
mercial use, whether on the line of road or at terminals, on the
open roadway, through tunnels or on bridges, in stations or on
docks and wharves, and float bridges (which are part of docks
and wharves) and track scales. The account includes also the



58 RAILROAD EXPENSES

non-commercial tracks of engine yards and shop yards, and to
coal and water stations. But tracks inside of shop buildings or
enginehouses, or on transfer tables and turntables, or car floats,
are held to be part of the structure where located, and do not
belong to " Roadway and Track." So also tracks devoted to
highly specialized or temporary uses are not included, such as
ballast pit tracks, charged to " Ballast " clearing account, or
additional tracks, charged to Additions and Betterments, and
when abandoned, released through the same account. Tem-
porary track around wrecks is an incident of clearing wrecks,
and the labor expense is charged to Transportation ; " Clearing
Wrecks," but a temporary track around a washout is an incident
of maintaining the open roadway against extraordinary weather
conditions, such as freshets, and therefore is considered " Road-
way and Track."

" Roadway and Track " embraces the entire width of right
of way until we come into station and shop or warehouse
grounds. It does not include the fences, but does include every-
thing between the fences, except structures such as buildings,
bridges, trestles and culverts, water tanks, grade crossings, cat-
tle guards, mail cranes, signs, signals, interlocking plants, tele-
phone, telegraph and power transmission lines, which are all
variously provided for elsewhere.

Maintenance means the keeping of these parts of the prop-
erty up to standard operating conditions as to cross section,
cleanliness of ballast, condition and spacing of ties, condition,
alignment and surface of rails, and gauge of track, by tamping
ties, shimming rail, cleaning and drainage of roadbed, by ditch-
ing, removal of obstructions, widening slopes and embankments,
protection of banks by riprapping, diversion of streams, clean-
ing of culverts, etc. It includes the protection of adjacent prop-
erty, by plowing fire lines, fighting fires, draining overflowed
fields. This maintenance also is construed to include care of
roadway and right of way parking, to keep them in condition



MAINTENANCE OF WAY AND STRUCTURES 59

and sightly by clearing of weeds, mowing of lawns, dressing bal-
last and cutting sod lines, also the cleaning of streets used as
roadways, sodding slopes and caring for flowers. But when the
right of way parking is specially beautified or extended to serve
the uses of station grounds, and when the " streets " are drive-
ways or alleys for access to station, and are not the right of
way for the railroad, they are incidental to special uses and are
not a part of the roadway or yard which are for the uses of
moving trains or terminal switching and freight delivery.

Patrolling and watching track are charged here, but bridge,
tunnel or crossing watchmen who are permanently assigned
because of the special character of structures, and because of
traffic conditions, are charged to those structures or to Transpor-
tation, under the proper head.

Because the line between betterment and maintenance is not
always easy to draw, caution must be exercised that maintenance
of roadway shall not include large amounts of work that are in
the nature of betterments. Such cases occur in changing of
alignments and grades, filling trestles, putting in riprapping,
which are variously charged to " Expenses " or to Additions and
Betterments, according to certain determining general con-
ditions.*

"Roadway and Track" includes the entire upkeep expense,
both labor and material, of the roadway and track, except rail,
ties, and other track material, and roadway tools and supplies.
The first three items are such definite and large elements that
they justify a separate account. The last item brings into one
group the cost of the miscellaneous small .facilities and supplies
that supplement manual labor throughout the entire department
of M. of W. and S. It would be impracticable to locate this
expense to the specific work which it served. " Roadway and
Track" also includes any work train expense incurred for the
work. (The work-train expense embraces train supplies and

* See Comment.



60 RAILROAD EXPENSES

wages of men, but maintenance of work-train equipment is
charged to M. of E. Repairs, Work Equipment. The expense
of removing material and restoring conditions to normal after
roadway repairs, is an incident of such repairs. Such main-
tenance is, for instance, burning ties, removing rail. But the
removal of scrap not previously accounted for, should be
charged to scrap value of material removed.

The condition of the roadway which must be maintained is
disturbed at times by Additions and Betterments work, for
grade reductions and change of line. " Expenses " must bear
such part of the costs incurred in doing such work as represents
the upkeep of the existing roadbed at standard, and the keeping
of tracks in repair and condition for handling traffic during the
progress of the work, and the protection of traffic while passing
over the tracks. On the completion of such work " Expenses "
must bear the burden of reballasting, lining and surfacing the
tracks, moving and replacing riprap or other bank protection in
order to fully preserve maintenance standards.

Comment: The distinction between maintenance and better-
ment is not well defined. This account bears "the proportion
chargeable " of such expense, but the basis of arriving at this
proportion, where it is a proportion and not an absolute charge,
is not stated.

Assessments paid for " improvements " are clearly a better-
ment charge and not maintenance.

The account " Roadway and Track " is too inclusive. Some
of the sub-primary items should be made primary accounts.

7. Removal of Snow, Sand and Ice. This account is to pro-
vide for some of those extraordinary conditions which weather
imposes. Their highly irregular character in different terri-
tories and at different times vitiates comparisons if their expense
is included in "Roadway and Track." Sand-storms in some
sections of the country are analogous to snow-storms at other
places in so far as they affect railroad operation.



MAINTENANCE OF WAY AND STRUCTURES 61

The account includes the removal of snow, sand and ice from
tracks over the entire road. The expense embraces wages and
supplies and tools specially furnished; wages and supplies of
special work-train crews, including fuel, and repairs of snow-
plows (except that maintenance of snowplow cars is charged to
u Work Equipment Eepairs ") . To the actual work of cleaning
the snow is added the expense of precautionary measures, such
as handling and placing snow and sand fences, and any land
rental charge incidental thereto, slatting engine pilots, and put-
ting on and removing flanges, assembling crews in readiness for
snow emergencies, salting and cleaning switches. But repairs
of snow and sand fences and snow sheds are charged to a dif-
ferent account as they are a part of the permanent equipment or
structures of the road.

Maintenance expense of the work-train equipment used is
charged to M. of E. and not to this account.

In respect to the labor used this account may be considered
an offshoot from " Roadway and Track," which must keep the
right of way and yards clear from garbage and the track free
from debris and weeds. But snow and ice, and sand which, like
snow, is blown by the wind, are recognized as distinctly extraor-
dinary weather conditions, and the expense of clearing them
from the right of way is therefore set out to this account.
Freshets, it may be said, are also a result of extraordinary
weather conditions, but the incidental repairs are not so dis-
tinctly different from ordinary repairs of roadway as to make
a separate classification practicable.

8. Tunnels. Tunnels are a fixed disability of operation on
any road where they may occur. Their maintenance is of a
special character. They frequently are lighted, and have spe-
cially detailed watchmen. These are inevitable incidents of
having the tunnel at all, hence the manager draws out such
expense from the rest of his maintenance.

The account includes all such expense of a special character



62 RAILROAD EXPENSES

for repairs of tunnels as cost of timber and other material, false
work, special tools and supplies, and the wages and supplies of
tunnel watchmen. " Tunnels " does not include the roadway
and track which go through the tunnel, or signals, which together
constitute the continuous way. It does include the lighting and
watching expense. This is an item of M. of W. and S. on the
same principle which includes as maintenance the patrolling of
the roadway for safety, or the salting of switches, oiling of road-
bed, or cleaning of ice from float bridges. These all are inci-
dents to the maintenance of an open way in safe and standard
condition for running trains, and this is the province of M. of
W. and S.

In all the work done upon tunnels, it must be kept in mind
that maintenance is only replacement in kind. The excess cost
of lining tunnels with stone, brick, or concrete, over the cost of
replacing in kind a less durable lining removed, is betterment.
In case the tunnel is converted into an open cut, this account
must bear the expense of removing the lining of the existing
tunnel before any charge is made to Betterments for account of
the cut which takes the place of the tunnel.

9. Bridges, Trestles and Culverts. The roadway is either
carried on earth roadbed or over structures of some kind. These
structures fall into a separate class from earth roadbed because
the circumstances of their upkeep are radically different. They
are exposed to peculiar conditions of wear, deterioration and
risk : they require special material, skill and supervision : their
maintenance readily divides into light repairs which are current,
and heavy repairs and renewals which are periodical over long
intervals.

Bridges were primarily designed to carry over water. This
first notion has been extended to include on the one hand the
structure that leads water under the railroad as a mere culvert,
and on the other hand the structure that carries the railroad
over something, regardless whether it is water, a highway,



MAINTENANCE OF WAY AND STRUCTURES 03

another railroad, or an aqueduct. But when the situation is
reversed, and the structure carries something over the railroad
it is no longer a u bridge " but a " crossing " and is carried to
the account of u Over and Under Grade Crossings." Thus it
falls out, that at the separated grade crossings of two railroads
the structure that is a " bridge " for the overhead railroad is a
" crossing " for the railroad carried beneath.

By these distinctions " Bridges, Trestles and Culverts " in-
cludes bridges and trestles; wooden, steel, stone and concrete
viaducts; stone and wooden culverts; cast-iron and terra-cotta
pipe culverts. Substructure is embraced with superstructure,
so that we have included the piers, abutments, masonry and
drain-pipes. Special fixtures, as bridge guards, guard rails,
water barrels, gravel decking, or machinery and appurtenances
for operating drawbridges, bridge signs or number boards are
part of the bridge or trestle. (Guard rail not on the bridge is
" Other Track Material," or if in a building is part of the
building.) The building and maintenance or renewal of all sec-
ondary structures, permanent or temporary, that are incidental
to the repairs or protection of the bridges, trestles and culverts,
and not distinctly a betterment, are a part of the maintenance
expense of the primary structure which they serve. Illustra-
tions of these would be retaining walls, riprapping and dikes
necessary to protect or strengthen bridges and culverts against
ice, water or drift, and " false work used in repairing and
renewing bridges and culverts." The cost of removing a bridge
to replace with a new bridge is a " Bridge Renewal " expense,
but the cost of filling a trestle is charged to " Roadway and
Track," because the trestle is thereby superseded. The expense
of altering and bracing the trestle during the progress of the
filling is charged to the trestle, although it is an expense inci-
dental to " Roadway and Track." When a bridge or trestle is
superseded by a fill it ceases to exist, and must be " charged off."
Its first cost (estimated if not known), less salvage, must be



64 RAILROAD EXPENSES

charged to "Operating Expenses/*' this account. In order
accurately to transfer the values from property in the bridge to
property in the fill constituting roadway, the bridge is credited
with salvage allowance for the estimated value of the temporary
trestle which would have been necessary to make the fill.

Maintenance, which includes upkeep against wear, weather
and deterioration, also includes, at times when improvement
work is going on (either to substitute a new bridge or an
embankment for the old bridge), the cost of removing the old
material and protecting traffic during the improvements. This
is because maintenance must under all conditions preserve the
structure in its function of a bridge at that point until released
by substitute construction.

The cost of the maintenance described above, and which is
charged to this account, is all labor, material and supervision,
and any extraordinary expense, as for work train service or
advertising for bids. But this account does not bear any part
of certain expenses that are either of a fixed character for the
department, as " Superintendence," or of a general character
for the department, as " Stationery and Printing," " Injuries to
Persons," or proportional charges of repairs and renewals and
interest on work equipment used. The proportion of a general
insurance premium covering the risk of bridges is carried to a
General Expense account for reasons there explained.

Supervision charged to Bridges is described as including the
wages and expense of bridge foremen and inspectors and watch-
men, but not the engineer of bridges or the master carpenter or
the fire inspectors and their assistants.

While tools used in repairing bridges, trestles and culverts
are specifically carried to " Roadway Tools " supplies, brooms
and lanterns are classed with rowboats used as part of the
expense of bridge maintenance.

Insurance recovered on bridges and trestles should be cred-



MAINTENANCE OF WAY AND STRUCTURES 65

ited to this account, because the repairs of the damage for which
the insurance was paid is charged here.

A bridge, like any other structure, is supposed to be adequate
to its intended uses. Should it prove defective, the expense con-
sequent upon such default is charged to the thing damaged and
not to the account that maintains the bridge which was at
fault (Case 392).

10. Over and Under Grade Crossings. Every railroad line
is crossed at irregular intervals by highways, canals, and other
railroads, to accommodate other movements than its own, at fixed
points across its right of way. With the greater density of pop-
ulation these cross movements are greatly multiplied, until
within the city limits they sometimes come at every street corner.
Canal crossings, can only be made at separated grades, but in
case of all other movements the crossing (except, of course, by
navigable rivers which were original barriers overcome in con-
struction of the railroad) may be at the same grade, with a risk
of accident. This risk increases with the volume of traffic, and
the tendency with the growth of population is to abolish these
grade crossings by separating the grades. The fact that the
other carrier or the public who cross the railroad are involved
in this risk with the railroad itself renders the elimination of
such crossings a common concern. The expense is therefore gen-
erally shared on some basis.

The structure that carries the railroad over the other traffic
is designated a bridge, and is charged to " Bridges, Trestles and
Culverts." "When the railroad is depressed under the other
traffic, the crossing structure is considered an " Over and Under
Grade Crossing," and the railroad beneath is "Roadway and
Track," like any other part of the line.

This account is to provide for any structure or subway that
carries traffic across the line of the railroad traffic, except
foot bridges and subways at station grounds which then are
features of the station service and are not public highways.



GO RAILROAD EXPENSES

This crossing movement may be by railroad, trolley, wagon
or footway, log chutes, rollways or telepherage, but not telegraph
or electric power cables. All these different types have the com-
mon characteristic that the movement provided for is other than
that of the railroad, and that the provision is to eliminate risk
of interference and consequent accident.

Any drainage of water or diversion of public roads to effect
such separated grade crossings is part of the expense of the
crossings.

This account includes both the labor and material expended.

Comment: The account includes "cost of drainage and
excavations for undergrade crossings, expenses of opening pub-
lic roads for purposes of eliminating grade crossings." This
wording permits of expenses that include substantial betterments
and is so far in conflict with the Additions and Betterments
account, " Elimination of Grade Crossings."

ii. Grade Crossings, Fences, Cattle Guards and Signs.
The ideal of a roadway with no interruption by intersecting
movements between termini is seldom realized. The railroad is
not allowed to bisect the territory traversed by an impassable
line. The first effort, therefore, is to restrict to designated points
the crossing movements. The next effort is to separate the
movements at these points from the grade of the railroad by
u Over and Under Grade Crossings." There must, however,
remain a vast number of points where the volume of such cross-
ing traffic does not justify so heavy an outlay.

" Grade Crossings, Fences, Cattle Guards and Signs " is to
provide for the maintenance of all those structures along the
right of way (except over and under grade crossings) which are
not an essential part of the roadway for moving trains, nor for
handling traffic at terminals, nor incidental to the maintenance
of the roadway and rolling stock, nor the general administration
of the property, but which grow out of the conditions of trans-
portation as they affect or are affected by the interests of abut-



MAINTENANCE OF WAY AND STRUCTURES G7

ting property holders and the general public along the line of
the right of way. Hence it comes to include the maintenance
of fences and cattle guards, street, road and farm crossings at
grade, crossing signs, warning signals and gates, whistle posts,
slow and stop boards, mile posts, and the assessments for street
repairs and sewers (where not incidental to any particular
building or separable part of the property, but general to the
right of way).

The fences keep the cattle of abutting grazing land off the
right of way, and the cattle guards restrain them within the
limits of the highway when it crosses the right of way, and the
highway fence lets the railroad roadway through. Warning
signals, gates, and whistle posts are devices to reduce the risk of
accidents at grade crossings. Street assessments are an incident
of street crossings, and sewer assessments are the tribute of the
roadway to abutting property holders. Slow and stop boards
are frequently related to interruptions to the train movement
imposed by public crossings. With these signs are included, by
what appears to be defective analogy, the signs along the road-
way which have no reference to crossings but are a facility to the
movement of trains, such as those indicating yard limits, water
stations, section or county lines, also mile posts and tunnel
cautions.

As a maintenance account, " Grade Crossings,* Cattle Guards
and Signs " is responsible for the upkeep of these structures and
appliances. This upkeep includes the sprinkling with water or
oil of the street grade crossings when required. But warning
hand signal lights used by the crossing watchmen are not con-
sidered a maintenance expense and are charged with other like
supplies to " Crossing Flagmen and Gatemen," under Trans-
portation Expenses.

Station and telegraph signs, fences and hedges around build-



Online LibraryJames Shirley EatonHandbook of railroad expenses → online text (page 6 of 52)