Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

US Freight Railroads Another Capitalist Success Story
Redstate ^ | 12-9-11 | Nikitas3

Posted on 12/12/2011 12:26:17 PM PST by bigbob

If you want to see where the American left wants to take us, just look at the history they want us to ignore.

One of the most egregious examples of failed socialist policy is in the area of transportation.

In the post-World War II period you would have expected America’s freight railroads to have been thriving in a booming economy. But the opposite happened.

By 1972 many major freight railroads had gone into bankruptcy including the venerable New York Central and the behemoth Pennsylvania. Other failures included the Boston & Maine, Lehigh Valley and Reading.

CEO Benjamin Biaggini of the Southern Pacific, the “railroad that built California”, a company long considered an invincible goliath, was expecting by that time that the freight railroads would collapse and would be nationalized. Even his mighty empire was suffering.

What caused all this to happen in this period of unparalleled prosperity?

[edited due to posting length restrictions]

Yet today America has more interstate highways than ever while the freight railroads have rebounded and are a fiscal juggernaut making healthy profits with an ultra-modern and very competitive alternative to trucks on the highways (22,000 locomotives, 140,000 miles of track and 1.5 million cars moving 1.9 TRILLION ton-miles of freight annually). And the railroads are expected to make big economic gains over the next 10 years as more new laws regulate trucking and a driver shortage plagues the industry.

Why have the freight railroads rebounded?

Because they were de-regulated, that’s why…

(Excerpt) Read more at redstate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: capitalism; deregulation; railfreight; railroad
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-28 last
To: org.whodat
read the article -- it talks about how that is not true anymore, primarily because the freight railroads have been freed from govt oversight. So, the big guys work on super-fast connectivity over long distances and then pass it to the local guys.

And yes, I miss Willi green -- I didn't agree with all he said, but it was good to have a devil's advocate voice.

21 posted on 12/13/2011 2:02:38 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

If you know anyone looking for a new career, have them check out the railroads.

They expecting 30-40% of the conductors and engineers to retire in the next 5 years due to age(baby boomers).

Potential downside for a freeper is that it is union work. Upside is that it is one of the highest paying jobs you can just walk into with nothing more than a High School diploma and a clean record. Appx. $45k your first year and average of $67k/year after that + $22k in benefits package.

Best plus if you can make it a career is the retirement. When you work for the railroad, you are taken out of Social Security and you start paying into the Railroad Retirement, which is WAY better. If you can due 30 years you can get 100% retirement + your spouse can get 50% on top of that.

There is no real cut off age to get started with them. People in their 50’s have hired on recently and tons of people in their 30’s looking for a new/second career.


22 posted on 12/13/2011 5:12:38 AM PST by BookaT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

Problem is it works good on paper, but when put in practice, the rail is still slower than a snail.


23 posted on 12/13/2011 5:38:24 AM PST by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by "AMNESTY" Newt, Willard, Perry and his fellow supporters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
Outside of the areas West of the Mississippi where the railroads crossed public lands the US government wanted to have settled by farmers, where did railroads get FREE RIGHT OF WAY?

You are now being silly.

Eminent Domain has been in the US Constitution because it has been known since the very first days of man that contiguous land was required for moving products from point A to point B. You are being silly because while you obsessively focus on the rails you seem to forget about every road from farm-to-market to interstate, you forget about every canal that was dug, every pipeline laid, every high powered electric line.

In the late nineteenth century, you could walk for days without seeing anyone or anything, so a forty foot wide swath going through mostly Indian country was nothing. Besides, how on earth did you expect the farmer and rancher to get their product to market without roads and rail roads? How do you expect them to get their tools, clothes and other materials from the industrial East without roads and rails?

It was the railroad, not the Colt revolver, the tamed the West. And here you want a retroactive penalty against the lifeblood of this country.

24 posted on 12/13/2011 5:45:16 AM PST by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: The Theophilus
Look, the land wasn't free. I had an ancestor who dealt with the land transactions for most of the State of Indiana ~ and 100% of it was sold. Not a bit of it was set aside for a railroad.

When the railroads came through (once they'd been invented) they had to acquire land the old fashioned way ~ either someone traded it for stock, or they paid for it. The government wasn't giving it away at that time.

"Free Land" was the claim but that idea is simply not supportable East of the Mississippi.

25 posted on 12/13/2011 10:03:18 AM PST by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ZirconEncrustedTweezers
LOL! 'Rail Wars!!!' .... East vs the West.

Yes, The Big Boy is a great loco too as I like it. I also like the Challenger.

Both the big work horse moved millions of tons of freight and troops for the effort during WWII. Thank goodness we had them!!

26 posted on 12/15/2011 11:47:48 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RSmithOpt

“Both the big work horse moved millions of tons of freight and troops for the effort during WWII. Thank goodness we had them!!”

Indeed they did. It can be argued that the Challenger was the world’s largest passenger locomotive, although it was designed primarily for moving fast freight.


27 posted on 12/15/2011 3:21:38 PM PST by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (There are two kinds of people: those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ZirconEncrustedTweezers
It's a shame that the only 2 remaining Allegheny's are static. We still have a Big Boy or 2 that are still road worthy and those that love the old workhorses are passing down the knowledge (to a few) as how to run them, service them, and rebuild them.

Couldn't agree more with your comment on the Challenger......dat sucker is fast on flat grade. IIRC, UP's #3985 was chased at 70 mph not to long ago.

28 posted on 12/16/2011 5:19:21 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-28 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson