Preparatory to hearings this week on the railroad's petition for a 15% freight rate increase, the Interstate Commerce Commission last week brought down to date (to Dec. 31, 1930) its tentative valuations of all Class I railroads. For rate-making purposes this value was set at $21,691,000,000 (1920 value: $18,900,000,000). The roads' "book value" was $23,518,000,000. They had, in addition, $560,000,000 in working capital.

Class I roads had a funded debt of $10,700,494,000 and outstanding capital stock of $8,184,640,000. In 1920, 57% of all rail stocks paid dividends averaging 6½%. In 1929, 76%...

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