Stop, Look and Listen: Railroad Transportation in the United States

By David Hinshaw; W. Espey Albig | Go to book overview

Chapter XI
CAR SERVICE DIVISION

THE attitude of suspicion and distrust between the operators and officials of one railroad system and those of another grew out of the evils of competition during that peroid when the wishes of promoters and the public, rather than economic needs, determined railroad construction.

When absentee ownership demanded of distant operators profits which they could not possibly earn because tonnage was lacking, these railroad operators were forced into cut-throat competitive practices to hold their jobs. Because they were men of intelligence, imagination, initiative and ability, they developed ingenious ways of securing business. Many methods of crippling another railroad system were devised and practised.

Until the 'nineties, when greater uniformity of gauge, couplings and other equipment was gradually developed by the railroad systems, there was no great interchange of cars between railroads. In shipping a carload of goods from Kansas City to New York, for instance, the car containing the goods went no farther than the end of the railroad owning it. The goods were then transferred to another car belonging to a connecting railroad. This procedure was repeated at the terminal of each railway system over

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