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TABLE NO. 2-Continued.
JOINT GRADE CROSSING INVESTIGATION, STATE HIGHWAY AND RAILROAD CROSSINGS. CONDUCTED BY CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY COMMISSION; U. S. BUREAU OF
PUBLIC ROADS; CALIFORNIA RAILROAD COMMISSION.
Summary of Data Relative to Grade Crossing Elimination.
FORMAL COMPLAINTS IN CROSSING MATTERS. Various formal complaints regarding crossing matters have been filed with the Commission as shown by the following tabulation:
ending June 30, 1922
Pending June 30, 1923
ī Totals... Most of these complaints sought to have better protection afforded at certain crossings. Careful investigations were made by the transportation division as to all of the crossings covered by such complaints and the results presented at the various hearings.
FORMAL APPLICATIONS FOR NEW GRADE CROSSINGS. The accompanying tabulation shows the applications made to the Commission for authority to install new crossings. In connection with the applications filed by railroads it should be noted that most of these are for crossings on industry tracks in the industrial districts of the larger cities. In such cases the crossings are relatively of little importance as far as the introduction of any additional hazard is concerned and are necessary to meet the development of the communities.
*Including supplemental applications and old proceedings reopened during the year.
State highway under Southern Pacific Company at Redding.
State highway over San Francisco and Sacramento Railway at Denverton.
State highway under Northwestern Pacific near Alto.
In some of the above mentioned proceedings the interested parties agreed as to the division of cost, in others no such agreement was reached and the Commission found it necessary to designate the equitable division of cost. In addition to grade separations ordered considerable work has been done upon a proceeding now pending before the Commission looking toward the separation of grades of certain streets and railroads in the city of Stockton.
The matter of a separation of grades between The Alameda and the Southern Pacific in the city of San Jose has again been before the Commission and a new engineering study made of this problem.
CROSSING PROTECTION. Investigation has been made with respect to the protection of many important crossings during the year and a considerable number of automatic flagmen have been installed on recommendation or order of the Commission at certain of the crossings investigated. In some instances other special forms of protection have been recommended or ordered, such as overhead illuminated signs or in some instances human flagmen. Interlocking Plants,
Interlocking plants protecting the crossings, junction and yards of railroads at grade are within the technical supervision of this division. A new interlocking plant has been installed for the protection of the crossing of the Whittier line of the Pacific Electric over the main line of the Santa Fe at Los Nietos and existing plants have been substantially changed or renewed at the junction of the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe at Kern Junction; at the junction of the San Francisco and Sacramento with the San Francisco-Oakland Terminal Railways at Fortieth street and Shafter avenue, Oakland; at the junction of the Valley and Coast routes of the Southern Pacific at Burbank; and at the M street bridge of the Sacramento Northern and San Francisco and Sacramento railroads, Sacramento. Plans for all of this work have been checked and the plants themselves inspected and approved by engineers of this division. In addition, field inspections were made of nine other interlocking plants during the year.
LEGAL DEPARTMENT-COURT PROCEEDINGS
The marked increase in the legal work of the Commission which was noted in our last annual report has continued during the last fiscal year. At the end of the fiscal year, there were four cases pending in the United States Supreme Court, seven in the California Supreme Court and one in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. In addition, seven matters in which this Commission was interested were pending before the Interstate Commerce Commission. Two of the matters which were pending in 1922 before the California Supreme Court are still pending, but during the fiscal year, that court finally determined ten cases involving the Commission and ten petitions were received by that court praying for writs of review of orders of the Commission.
IMPORTANT PENDING MATTERS. The most important pending matters are the so-called “Los Angeles Terminal Cases" now in the United States Supreme Court; the similar matter brought by the city of Los Angeles before the Interstate Commerce Commission; the National Express Rate cases (which are still pending before the Interstate Commerce Commission) and the Consolidation of Railroads matter, also before the Interstate Commerce Commission.
The so-called "Los Angeles Terminal Cases” which were pending in the California Supreme Court on June 30, 1922, are, as explained in our last annual report, in reality three separate cases, involving the problem of grade crossing elimination in the city of Los Angeles. The Commission, after hearings covering a period of several years, directed the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and Salt Lake Railroads to join in building a union passenger depot in Los Angeles as a part of a plan to eliminate certain hazardous grade crossings in that city. The railroads petitioned for a writ of review in the State Supreme Court, the cases being consolidated for hearing by that court. Public interest in this matter is large and the city of Los Angeles joined with the Railroad Commission in the proceedings before the California Supreme Court and filed a brief before that court in support of the Commission's order. On December 19, 1922, however, the California Supreme Court annulled the order of the Commission upon the ground that this matter had been placed in the hands of the Interstate Commerce Commission by certain provisions of the Transportation Act of 1920. On petition of the Railroad Commission, writs of certiorari were issued by the United States Supreme Court in these matters and they are now pending in that court. These conconsolidated cases have been advanced upon the calendar and set for argument on November 12, 1923.
In the meantime and subsequent to the decision of the California Supreme Court, the city of Los Angeles applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission for an order similar in tenor to that of the Railroad Commission. This matter was placed upon the Interstate Commission calendar for hearing in Los Angeles during July, 1923, and the Railroad
The express rate case discussed in our last annual report is still pending before the Interstate Commerce Commission. During the last year this nation wide express rate proceeding instituted by the Interstate Commission has progressed through a series of hearings in Washington and also in other large centers throughout the country. For the purpose of these hearings, the Interstate Commerce Commission requested that the National Association of Railway and Utilities Commissioners appoint a representative of the state commissions to sit with its examiners and take testimony. Pursuant to that request one of the rate experts of the California Railroad Commission, Mr. J. C. Harraman was selected to act as such representative and to accompany the examiners of the Interstate Commerce Commission on a tour of the country, holding hearings in all of the important centers. The matter was then set for argument before the Interstate Commerce Commission en banc and the California Commission took an active part in this argument, contending that express rates throughout the western territory are abnormally high as compared to those in other sections of the country and that a reduction should be granted. The decision in favor of the contention of the Railroad Commission in this and the intrastate express rate case will result in a saving of more than a million dollars annually to the shippers of California.
During the last fiscal year, hearings were also had by the Interstate Commerce Commission upon the matter of the proposed consolidation of railroads in the United States. This hearing was held pursuant to the provisions of the Transportation Act of 1920, which required the Interstate Commerce Commission to propose a plan for the consolidation of the railroads of continental United States into a limited number of systems. The California Railroad Commission appeared at the hearings held in San Francisco and Los Angeles and placed before the Interstate Commission evidence as to the operation of railroads within this state. The California Commission recommended that in any plan of consolidation finally formulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Central Pacific Railroad be left as a part of the Southern Pacific system under certain safeguards for competing lines, and that the Western Pacific, Denver and Rio Grande systems be consolidated with The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The short lines of California were discussed at length by the Railroad Commission witnesses and it was recommended that the Northwestern Pacific, which runs from San Francisco to points north of Eureka be consolidated with the Santa Fe system in any final plan.
CASES PENDING IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. 1. Railroad Commission vs. Southern Pacific Company.
Railroad Commission vs. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company.
3. Railroad Commission vs. Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Company.
These three cases, as explained above, arise from a decision of the California Supreme Court annulling the Railroad Commission order which directed the three railroads to join in building a union passenger depot in Los Angeles and in eliminating certain hazardous grade crossings in that city. These matters have been set for argument in the Supreme Court of the United States on November 12, 1923.