The Elements of Railway Economics

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Clarendon Press, 1905 - Railroads - 159 pages
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Page 80 - It was very early in the history of railroads perceived that if these agencies of commerce were to accomplish the greatest practicable good, the charges for the transportation of different articles of freight could not be apportioned among such articles by reference to the cost of transporting them severally...
Page 82 - The public interest is best served when the rates are so apportioned as to encourage the largest practicable exchange of products between different sections of our country and with foreign countries ; and this can only be done by making value an important consideration, and by placing upon the higher classes of freight some share of the burden that on a relatively equal apportionment, if service alone were considered, would fall upon those of less value. With this method of arranging tariffs little...
Page 83 - X, well suited for oyster-growing, but which sent very few oysters to market, because the railroad rates were so high as to leave no margin of profit. The local oyster-growers represented to the railroad that if the rates were brought down to one dollar per hundred pounds, the business would become profitable and the railroad could be sure of regular shipments at that price. The railroad...
Page 83 - That is, those oysters would bear a rate of $ra hundred, and no more. Further, the railroad men found that if they could get every day a carload, or nearly a carload, at this rate, it would more than cover the expense of hauling an extra car by quick train back and forth every day, with the incidental expenses of interest and repairs. So they put the car on, and were disappointed to find that the local oyster growers could only furnish oysters enough to fill the car about half full.
Page 80 - ... articles whose bulk or weight was large as compared with their value. On the system of apportioning the charges strictly to the cost, some kinds of commerce which have been very useful to the country, and have tended greatly to bring its different sections into more intimate business and social relations, could never have grown to any considerable magnitude, and in some cases could not have existed at all, for the simple reason that the value at the place of delivery would not be equal to the...
Page 84 - ... rate (the highest charge the article would bear) would not pay expenses. Therefore, 3. On any uniform rate for everybody, the road must lose money, and 4. They would either be compelled to take the oyster car away altogether, or else get what they could at a dollar, and fill up at seventy-five cents. There was no escape from this reasoning; and the oystermen of X chose to pay the higher rate rather than lose the service altogether.
Page 84 - It would hardly cost twenty cents to send them from Y to X. If, then, the railroad from X to Philadelphia charged but seventyfive cents a hundred on oysters which came from Y, it could easily fill its car full. This was what they did. They then had half a car-load of oysters grown at X, on which they charged a dollar, and half a car-load from Y on which they charged seventy-five cents for exactly the same service.
Page 75 - This language is very suitable to the greater part of the House of Commons. Most men of business love a sort of twilight. They have lived all their lives in an atmosphere of probabilities and of doubt, where nothing is very clear, where there are some chances for many events, where there is much to be said for several courses, where nevertheless one course must be determinate]}- chosen and fixedly adhered to.
Page 107 - Wandsworth to Croydon and was given parliamentary sanction in 1801: Per ton per mile For all dung carried on the railway 2d. For all limestone, chalk, lime, and all other manure (except dung), clay, breeze, ashes, sand, and bricks 3d. For all tin, lead, iron, copper, stone, flints, coal, charcoal, coke, culm, fuller's earth, corn and seeds, flour, malt, and potatoes. . 4d. For all other goods, wares, and merchandise 6d. The...
Page 78 - ... can afford to carry it for — railway charges for different categories of traffic are fixed, not according to an estimated cost of service, but roughly on the principle of equality of sacrifice by the payer. So regarded, "what the traffic will bear" is a principle, not of extortion, but of equitable concession to the weaker members of the community.

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