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To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The Interstate Commerce Commission has the honor to submit herewith its forty-eighth annual report to the Congress. The period covered by this report extends from November 1, 1933, to October 31, 1934, except as otherwise noted.
A statement of appropriations and aggregate expenditures for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1934, is contained in appendix H to this report.
RAILWAY EARNINGS AND TRAFFIC
The traffic of the steam railways in the first half of 1934 was substantially above that of the lowest level of the depression. This statement applies both to freight traffic and to passenger traffic, but there has been some recession since June in freight traffic. The trend of the revenues makes a less favorable showing than does the traffic, partly because of various reductions in rates and fares, but also in part because of the loss of short-haul traffic which affects the revenues relatively more than it does the ton-miles and passenger-miles, here used to measure traffic volume. But even with respect to the revenues there has been some improvement since the lowest depth of the depression. In this connection it may be noted that the freight surcharge, made effective on January 4, 1932, expired September 30, 1933, and many reductions have become effective after representation by the carriers that they were necessary to meet highway competition. The following table of index numbers shows the recent trend in four series of figures, after seasonal adjustments:
Index numbers of traffic and revenues of class I steam railways, seasonally