« PreviousContinue »
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY LIMITED
This photo was made on the six track section of the New York Central & Hudson R. R. near Riverdale, on the Hudson Division. It shows a type of modern track construction, rock ballast, automatic electric signals, electric cables for the transmission of power, third rail for operation of trains, and the latest type of electric locomotive.
the Texas Pacific, to extend from New Orleans to a union with the Southern Pacific; and the junction also of the Southern Pacific with the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio road to the ports of the Gulf of Mexico. These extensions and consolidations, all accomplished between 1864 and 1883, were the precursors of the greater railroad combinations of the generation immediately following.
The expansion of the great constructive period of railroading, which may be considered to have come to an end by 1870, was reckless and feverish. Capital rushed headlong into this new field of investment, and year after year offered transportation facilities more rapidly than the business of the country warranted. The inevitable result was vicious competition and ultimate ruin. Rate wars were the conspicuous feature of this period, and presently, when energy had wasted itself in this direction, resort was had to combination of rival interests. Consolidation on a small scale had been known in years before, but now measures were taken to bring the entire system into a unity of purpose by closer combinations and
Nineteenth century and the early years of this, the railroad problem was not one of expansion so much as of economical administration – a better adaptation to the business needs of the generation and a clearer comprehension of the mutual interests of the public. Much of this problem was solved by more intelligent, scientific and experienced attention to the subject by those who made it their profession. The attitude of the public also became an important factor. The feeling against corporate interests, so notable and so powerful in this period, began in the West in the Granger movement in 1870-73, and it is not too much to say that the railroad, as an economic institution, has thereby been materially affected in subsequent years. Drastic legislation touching the railroads was enacted in most of the States. Some of this passed away, but much of it remained and none of it was without lasting influence. The theory of government supervision State or National - sprang up and persisted so that in the end the railroads found it generally impossible to escape from amenability to public authority. In the States, this control was placed in the hands of railroad commissions which exercised their powers more in the interest of the community than of the corporation. In the National government power was vested in the Interstate Commerce Commission, whose decisions in many instances, especially in the tariff rate question in 1911, went a long way