Railroads, the Free Enterprise Alternative

By Daniel L. Overbey | Go to book overview

another coupler and remained closed until opened by movement of a handle located at the side of the car.


Air Brakes

A factor in the adoption of Janney couplers was the move toward application of air brakes for general service freight cars. Although still in the experimental stage during the 1870's and 1880's, it was apparent that some form of power braking would be used in the future. Link-and-pin couplers could not withstand the forces generated by such braking. After much testing the Westinghouse air brake was proven reliable, and many railroads began to apply it to passenger trains. It was subsequently applied to freight cars and adopted as standard equipment by the railroads. In 1893, the young Interstate Commerce Commission required by law the use of air brakes and automatic couplers on all trains engaged in interstate service. As with other standards of this period, federal and state regulation followed the lead of national railroad organizations, serving primarily as an incentive for laggard companies to move up to standards set by the better-run railroads.


STANDARD, YET INDIVIDUAL

It might appear that railroads in the United States were highly standardized by 1890. In certain respects they were, but much individualism remained from earlier years. Signal systems varied widely. Locomotives were designed and often built in the railroad's own shops. Each railroad set its own standards for right of way clearances, stations, bridges, tunnels, and grades. Operations conformed to the basic Standard Rules, but railroads added individual rules to suit their own needs. Many substantial differences remained between railroad companies. The railroads had recognized themselves as an industry, however, and had made important steps toward creating a truly national network of rail lines.


NOTES
1.
Van H. English, Dartmouth College, The Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, Volume 26 ( New York, 1971), pp. 758-759.
2.
Rules of Order, American Railway Association, quoted in Henry S. Haines, American Railway Management, p. 75.
3.
Haines, American Railway Management, pp. 62-75.
5.
A detailed account of the adoption procedure and other problems is presented in Haines, American Railway Management, pp. 38-61.

-18-

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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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