Page images

must now be left to Congress and its agent, the National Commission.

If the regulation of through freights and fares, the equipment of through cars and locomotives with safety devices and appliances, the running of through trains and the control of through business generally, and the instrumentalities by which it is done, have not been and are not now quite beyond the scope of our authority and duty, they pass over the line as fast as Congress assumes jurisdiction over them.

On the other hand, the exercise by Congress of its right to regulate interstate commerce makes possible the accomplishment of the purpose of the several States in appointing commissions to supervise and regulate railway traffic. “The difficulties arising from the constitutional organization of our dual system of state and national government have precluded the possibility of effective and satisfactory regulation of the business of transportation by States alone.” Even in' matters in which their authority has not been questioned, state commissions have often found it impracticable to exercise it for the eradication of existing evils, because the application of any rule or order to a portion of a railroad's business and the instrumentalities employed in it, while the rest is regulated in another way by another State, or left free and unregulated, not only fails to afford the desired relief, but causes annoyance and loss to both the railroads and the public.

In the language of Senator Cullom

"The essence of the effective regulation of business transactions is equality and uniformity, and this is impossible as to two transactions, alike in every other respect, when one reaches across the state line and the other does not. ... With its authority restricted to less than half of the business operations of the transportation companies subject to its jurisdiction, the obstacles encountered by a State in the exercise of a satisfactory supervision over railroads engaged in business within its borders, and in the administration of equal justice to all its citizens who might use them, are apparent.

“When these difficulties, with all the opportunities they present for the evasion of the State's authority, are understood, it is not a matter of wonder that the various state commissions should fail to accomplish all that has been expected of them, but it is rather a matter of surprise that they should have succeeded in bringing about the beneficial results which are acknowledged as a result of their labors."

But with all interstate traffic regulated by Congress, either directly or through the agency of a national commission, the state commissions, by conforming so far as may be to the interstate laws and regulations, and thereby securing the uniformity of rule and action that is so clearly essential, can achieve much more than they have yet been able to do.





Main Line. Nashua to Concord, 34.53 miles. Branclı: Hooksett to Suncook, 2.5 miles. Leased lines: Nashua to Acton, Mass., 20.21 miles; in this State, 4.75 miles. Manchester to Portsmouth 40.5 miles, and a branch from Suncook to Concord 7 miles; Manchester to North Weare, 19 miles; Suncook to Pittsfield, 17.37 miles. Total length of road, 141.11 miles. The Manchester & Lawrence road, including the Methuen branch, is operated in connection with the Concord. It is 26.14 miles long, and makes the length of the Concord system 167.25 miles. The Concord also owns a half interest in the Manchester & Keene, which is operated by the Boston & Lowell.


History and Condition. The charter of the Concord Railroad was granted June 27, 1835, four days after that of the Nashua & Lowell. These were the first in the State, and established, after long and strong contention, our state policy in favor of such corporations. The Concord charter authorized a corporation to construct a railroad from any point on the state line in the towns of Hudson, Salem, or Pelham, or in Nashua village in Dunstable, to the town of Concord, it being provided that the road should not be so laid out and constructed as to be a substitute for the Nashua & Lowell, but if commenced on the state line in one of the towns named, should be ried on the easterly side of the river as far northerly as Amoskeag village in Goffstown.” The grantees were


« PreviousContinue »