Railroads, the Free Enterprise Alternative

By Daniel L. Overbey | Go to book overview

radio waves would convey the information directly to the locomotive. When viewed from this perspective, the option of automated operations on certain routes would be an evolutionary change readily accommodated by the new structure.


SUMMARY

In terms of innovation, the Free Enterprise Alternative has two advantages: it gives carriers immense flexibility in arranging their resources and provides incentives through a competitive free market. These two factors create an optimal level of resource use in a dynamic sense throughout the rail industry.

Without economic regulation and with rail roadways open to all carriers, the free market would guide and regulate all carriers. Carriers could use their resources in the most effective and most efficient manner. Carriers could decide which markets to serve, defining their respective markets by geography, commodity, type of service, type of customer, and other factors. Carriers could change markets and market strategies as desired. In short, there would be nothing to keep a carrier company from succeeding--or failing--except the carrier company itself.


NOTES
1.
Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, pp. 47, 65-67, 782-803 (particularly p. 786).
2.
U.S., Department of Transportation, The Railroad Situation, p. 109 (see also pp. 26-28, 107-109).
3.
There is no established definition for short, medium, or long hauls. As a rule of thumb, long-haul traffic can be considered as that above the average rail haul, generally over 500 miles. Short hauls can be those movements under 250 miles, or roughly below the average haul for all trucks. Medium-length hauls would then be approximately in the 250- to 500-mile range.
4.
Chapter 12 describes the advantages of a unified roadway network and geographic concentration with respect to maintenance work.
5.
Chapter 8 describes several short-haul service experiments, including the Illinois Central Railroad's Minitrain.
6.
John G. Kneiling has written a number of articles concerning innovations in rail service. Among them are the following: "A Tale of Three Trains--1. How to Make Money Hauling Gravel," Trains, Volume 35, Number 3 ( January 1975), pp. 36-39; "A Tale of Three Trains--2. Get the Stuff Out of Town," Trains, Volume 35, Number 4 ( February 1975), pp. 44-46; "A Tale of Three Trains--3. Pulpwood Trains Can Be Profitable," Trains, Volume 35, Number 5 ( March 1975), pp. 26-28; "The Professional Iconoclast: Bits and Pieces from the Trade," Trains, Volume 37, Number 7 ( May 1977), p. 5; "The Professional Iconoclast: Innovations and Quality," Trains, Volume 33, Number 8 ( June

-192-

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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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