Railroads, the Free Enterprise Alternative

By Daniel L. Overbey | Go to book overview

restrictions of the traditional rail industry structure could be given an unencumbered trial in the marketplace. With the freedom of the new structure, rail carrier innovation should proceed at a rapid pace.


SUMMARY

The Free Enterprise Alternative offers a means for eliminating exclusive carrier service and replacing it with constructive competition. Carrier companies would respond to the needs and demands of the marketplace. Carriers would be given a great degree of freedom in the commercial direction of their operations: services, route structure, market entry and exit. Although this freedom is taken for granted in the other modes, the railroads have never had such latitude because of their exclusive fixed ways and the resultant monopolistic characteristics. By separating carrier and roadway functions, the benefits of both joint use and carrier competition can be obtained.


NOTES
1.
In recent years the ICC has given common carrier railroads the approval to implement contract rates for specific situations. Contract rates usually require a minimum annual traffic volume and may place daily, weekly, or monthly maximum volumes in order to improve car utilization. Loading and unloading times may be limited.

The ICC recently exempted fresh fruits and vegetables from economic regulation when shipped by rail. The railroad remains a common carrier with certain obligations, but rates are not subject to regulatory approval.

When handling contract shipments or exempt commodities, the railroad company still has the basic common carrier obligations unless modified by specific contracts. The contract and exempt innovations usually relate to price (rate-making) and not service. Exempt and contract shipments can be handled in trains with other regulated common carrier traffic; they share the same yards and tracks. It is the same carrier--the railroad company--which performs the transportation service for all rail shipments.

2.
U.S., Department of Transportation, The Railroad Situation, pp. 46-48.
3.
At some locations, two or more railroads "open" industries to reciprocal switching. The railroad serving an industry will switch cars to and from a nearby connecting railroad(s) for a flat fee rather than a share of revenue as is the case with normal interchange. The connecting railroad(s) at the location reciprocate by switching cars to their industries. If an industry is not open to reciprocal switching, the originating carrier might be able to demand inclusion in the routing to some intermediate interchange point depending on tariff restrictions. In either case, the originating carrier must physically handle the shipment to the connecting railroad.

-161-

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Railroads, the Free Enterprise Alternative
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • New Titles From Quorum Books ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Figures xi
  • Tables xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • 1 - Development of The Railway 3
  • Notes 6
  • 2 - A Product of Necessity 9
  • Notes 13
  • 3 - Degrees Of Standardization 15
  • Notes 18
  • 4 - Changing Times, 4 Changing Needs 19
  • Notes 31
  • Appendix To Chapter 4 Tables 1-4 33
  • 5 - For Everyone Else: The Typical Transportation Industry Structure 41
  • Notes 53
  • 6 - Railroad Industry Structure 55
  • Notes 65
  • 7 - Aspects of Joint Use 67
  • Notes 73
  • 8 - Aspects of Innovation 75
  • Notes 87
  • 9: Economics And Structure 91
  • Appendix To Chapter 9 109
  • 10 - In Theory, in Congress 113
  • Notes 124
  • 11 - A Proposal 127
  • 12 - Roadway Companies 131
  • 13 - Carrier Companies 147
  • Notes 161
  • 14 - Terminals 163
  • 15 - Regulation 173
  • Notes 181
  • 16 - Opportunity For Innovation 183
  • Notes 192
  • Appendix To Chapter 16 Service Alternatives For Short-Haul Traffic 195
  • 17 - The Promise And The Prospects 199
  • Notes 204
  • 18 - A Logical Conclusion 207
  • Notes 210
  • Bibliography 211
  • Index 221
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