In any country characterized by a dynamic economy and rapid technological change, change in traditional flows of traffic and in established transportation practices is inevitable. In America, the particular combination of affluence and a set of institutions erected to control or penalize a once-monopolistic, privately-owned railroad industry has resulted in the United States leading the world out of the railroad era. Commitment to air transportation, and more particularly to the highway, came earlier and more massively in the United States than anywhere else. This is indeed ironic, for in the pre-automobile era, the United States provided the classic example of a country whose development was organized around its railroads. It is also true that by the 1930's American railroads had achieved an excellence of plant, carried a volume of freight, and achieved standards of performance that were not equalled in any other country.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This article appeared in Geographic Perspectives on the Future of American Railroads, Proceedings of the Special Session of the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Atlanta, Georgia, April 1973.
  • Corporate Authors:

    San Diego State University

    Department of Geography
    San Diego, CA  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Wallace, W H
  • Publication Date: 1973-4

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00057669
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Association of American Geographers
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 22 1974 12:00AM