From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/8/1860, p. 1, c. 6
Richmond and York River Railroad. – The sixth annual report of the President of this Railroad Company, Alex. Dudley, Esq., to the stockholders, furnishes all the requisite information as to the condition of the company and the progress of the work. The temporary track at West Point is still in use, but the embankment on the main track is rapidly approaching completion, and it is confidently believed that the trains will be running permanently over the main track to the Pamunkey wharves early in January next. The new and elegant steamer West Point, which commenced her regular trips in June last, was purchased in view of the absolute necessity of establishing a permanent connection between the road and Norfolk, and the intermediate landings; the Directory having been unsuccessful in their exertions to procure such connection by arrangement with steamboat owners and capitalists. Her cost, including everything, was $42,272.17. The necessity of the purchase was urgent, and the Directory confidently believe that it will meet with the approbation of the stockholders.
A passenger shed has been completed at the Richmond depot, and a brick building, 48 by 64 feet, for reception rooms for passengers and others awaiting the arrival and departure of trains, and for the offices of the company, is now nearly completed. Station and freight houses have been erected at Summit and Cohoke, and as soon as the wharf on the Pamunkey shall be completed, it is in contemplation to erect there large temporary freight and passenger sheds.
Although the road is now in good running order, a considerable expenditure will be required to place it in a permanent and satisfactory condition. The Pamunkey river bridge, and admirable structure, perfectly safe and reliable, and capable of sustaining any train that can be carried over it, ought, nevertheless, to be replaced, as soon as possible, by one of more durable material, either stone or brick for the water way, the costs of which, it is believed, in the absence of actual estimates, may be put down at $12,000.
A permanent passenger and freight house ought to be built at West Point within the next ensuing year, and an engine house and workshop at either Richmond or West Point. The costs of these, from an estimate of the Chief Engineer, will not be less than $20,000.
As it cannot be reasonably expected that the money necessary for these objects can be paid out of the earnings of the road, or the present means of the company, authority is asked for to apply to the next General Assembly for a State loan of $100,000.
The Treasurer's statements also show that there has been paid or the steamer West Point, on account of transportation, the sum of $12,134.20, including the sum of $844 for repairs, occasioned by n accident while running up the Pamunkey river at night, and that her receipts have been $9,978.10, showing a balance of $2,156.10 against the boat on her transportation account. But this sum should not be regarded as a loss tot he company, for the reason that it appears, for the road's transportation account, that the through travel and freight credited to the boat has been running, and which has obviously brought to the road by the boat, amounts to the sum of $3,225.70; and if this amount be carried to the credit of the boat, her's would be a creditor, instead of a debtor account, on the business of the four months.
With regard to the proposed connection with the coal fields of the New York and Richmond coal fields of the New York and Richmond Coal Company, the report says it is in contemplation to organize a new company, the old one being now insolvent, and it is confidently believed that their plans will ultimately be carried into successful operation.
The success of the road thus far, under numerous disadvantages, is plainly apparent. - May we not, then, (says the report,) reasonably expect, when fully completed, with all its wharves, warehouses, depots and equipment in readiness for the reception and transportation of the passengers and freights, which must inevitably be concentrated at West Point when the advantages of York river as a harbor for foreign and coasting vessels shall become fully known and justly appreciated, an increase of receipts from transportation over and above its cost sufficient to pay the interest on the mortgage debts, and, within a few years a dividend on the stock. Of this the writer is absolutely confident. But, to attain this most desireable end, much, very much of energy and perseverance will have to be exerted to make suitable connections with the many rivers, creeks and inlets bordering on the lower Chesapeake Bay, and with Northern and Southern cities, and time will be required to consummate these connections.