While outside factors may have been responsible for the current plight of the rail carriers, such factors may also hold the key to the future success of the industry. The energy crisis, concern for the environment, and the saturation of the highway network all should work to reverse past trends. Transportation consumes almost one quarter of the nations total energy, including over 50% of all petroleum. Railroad transportation is several orders of magnitude more efficient in fuel usage than other modes. A large portion of the nations freight could be shifted to the railroads quickly and cheaply. The diversion of freight to rail would be cheaper and faster than other means of energy conservation, such as power plant conversion. Railroads will also benefit from urban re-development plans that would reclaim downtown areas by moving railroad yards to the fringes. Railroads may finally be nearing cooperation with unions on labor productivity issues. In the past, political factors usually produced settlements that granted most of labors demands. If the rail industry can survive the obstacles presented in the short run, external factors such as the energy crisis, concern for the environment, highway saturation, and new labor and government attitudes, will promote a movement of this society back to rail transportation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Michigan State University, East Lansing

    Graduate School of Business Administration
    East Lansing, MI  United States  48823
  • Authors:
    • Davis Jr, F W
    • PATTON, E P
  • Publication Date: 1973-1

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 37-46
  • Serial:
    • MSU Business Topics
    • Volume: 27
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Michigan State University, East Lansing

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00041615
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 15 1974 12:00AM