Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/433

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at $32,000 per mile ($20,000 per kilometre), according to the declaration of November 29, 1880; and the mortgage bonds and obligations shall not exceed an equal sum per mile, and these quantities shall not be increased without the previous consent of the Federal Executive of Mexico. The capital stock is divided into shares of the par value of $100 each, transferable upon the books of the company under such regulations as the General Board of Directors may prescribe." (By-Laws, Art. I.)

Its obligations were, that the line from Mexico to Leon should be finished by December 31, 1882 (completed in advance of time specified); that to the Pacific, within five years; to Paso del Norte, within eight years after completion of road from Mexico to Leon. A bond of $150,000 to be deposited with the government in the city of Mexico.

The history of this road, in connection with that of the Mexican (Vera Cruz) and that of the National (Palmer-Sullivan), well illustrates the advance of the railway movement in Mexico, after the initiatory attempt had so signally succeeded. The following statement is chiefly taken from the Report of the company, but has been verified in detail by the author of this work. This road was commenced in June, 1880, with a force of three hundred men, grading northwardly from the city of Mexico. The railway concession provides a subsidy of about $15,200 per kilometre, "with the right to import materials for construction, repair, and operation for fifteen years, and exemption from all taxation for fifty years after the completion of all the lines, and authorizes the construction and operation for ninety-nine years of a telegraph line and of a standard-gauge railway from the city of Mexico, through the capitals and centres of population of the interior States, to Paso del Norte, and from any point on that line through Guadalajara to the Pacific coast." In addition, the company bought the Guanajuato Railway, the concessions made to the States of Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, and San Luis Potosi, besides obtaining another to the port of Tampico. "The subsidy is payable in certificates, in which merchants are compelled to pay eight per cent of all duties at the frontier and maritime custom-houses."