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Railroads Have Quit Slumbering

Curtis D. Buford
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 345, Transportation Renaissance (Jan., 1963), pp. 58-65
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1032896
Page Count: 8
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Railroads Have Quit Slumbering
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Abstract

Railroads have been too busy for slumber. They have been busy doing a basic transportation job, busy improving ways and means of doing that job, and busy attempting to acquaint the public with inequities in government policy inimical to transportation progress and detrimental to our general economy. Railroads continue as the nation's major transportation agency. They have retained business through economies resulting from applications of technology. Since World War II, railroads have spent an average of more than a billion dollars per year to modernize plant and equipment. However, railroad earnings currently do not attract the capital the industry needs to continue its program of scientific and engineering progress. Railroads have inherent capacities to earn money. They can supply more transportation service per unit of fuel and per unit of manpower than any other generally available mode of transportation. But they lack the freedom to earn the money they need. Freedom requires legislative action. Discrimination and other inequities must be removed from transportation policy. Under fair and equal treatment, railroads could become sound and vigorous. Unless there are reforms in transportation policy soon, for all carriers, our entire economic structure-perhaps our national destiny-will be in jeopardy.

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