Few scenes capture the American experience so eloquently as that of a lonely train chugging across the vastness of the Great Plains, or snaking through tortuous high mountain passes. Although this vision was eclipsed for a time by the rise of air travel and trucking, railroads have enjoyed a rebirth in recent years as profitable freight carriers.
A fascinating account of the rise, decline, and rebirth of railroads in the United States, John F. Stover's American Railroads traces their history from the first lines that helped eastern seaports capture western markets to today's newly revitalized industry. Stover describes the growth of the railroads' monopoly, with the consequent need for state and federal regulations; relates the vital part played by the railroads during the Civil War and the two World Wars; and charts the railroads' decline due to the advent of air travel and trucking during the 1950s.
In two new chapters, Stover recounts the remarkable recovery of the railroads, along with other pivotal events of the industry's recent history. During the 1960s declining passenger traffic and excessive federal regulation led to the federally-financed creation of Amtrak to revive passenger service and Conrail to provide freight service on bankrupt northeastern railroads. The real savior for the railroads, though, proved to be the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which brought prosperity to rail freight carriers by substantially deregulating the industry. By 1995, renewed railroad freight traffic had reached nearly twice its former peak in 1944.
Bringing both a seasoned eye and new insights to bear on one of the most American of industries, Stover has produced the definitive history of railroads in the United States.
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2 First Rails
3 Early Maturity Expansion and War
4 The Rails Move West
5 Corruption Discrimination and Regulation
6 Uniformity and Consolidation
7 Railroads at War
8 Railroads in Decline after World War I
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American railroads Amtrak annual average Baltimore & Ohio billion Boston built Burlington cent Centralized Traffic Control Chicago Civil Class I railroads Commission companies completed Congress Conrail construction cost decade decline diesel early east eastern engine equipment Erie Canal farmer federal fifties freight cars freight rates freight service freight traffic gauge Gould Granger Illinois Central improved increased intercity Interstate Commerce Interstate Commerce Commission Iowa Kansas land grants legislation locomotive major merger miles of line Mississippi Missouri National rail network North Ohio River passenger service passenger traffic passenger trains Penn Central Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Railroad president Pullman rail lines rail mileage rail traffic railroad freight railroad management Railway revenue River roads route seventies shipments shippers South Southern Staggers Act steam tion ton-mileage ton-miles transportation truck turnpike twentieth century Union Pacific Vanderbilt wages western railroads World World War II York Central York City
Control Through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management
Limited preview - 1993
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