EFFECTS OF INNOVATIONS ON THE ECONOMICS OF RAILWAY LOCATION AND OPERATION

IN ORDER TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE, RAILWAYS NEED TO GENERATE SUFFICIENT ACCEPTANCE OF THEIR SERVICES TO ALLOW THEIR PLANT AND INVESTMENT TO BE USED AS INTENSIVELY AS POSSIBLE. THE PENETRATION OF NEW AREAS OF FREIGHT MOVEMENT BY INGENIOUS MEANS OF LOCOMOTION ARE IMMINENT. IF TUBES AND PIPE-LINES ARE THE BEST ANSWER IN A POTENTIAL AREA, RAILWAY INDUSTRY SHOULD KNOW IT AND ADAPT RAILWAY RIGHTS-OF-WAY AND BRIDGES TO NEW OR MULTIPLE USES. A RECENT SURVEY RANKED HIGHWAY SERVICING SUPERIOR TO RAILWAY IN /1/ TOTAL TRANSIT TIME, /2/ DEPENDABILITY OF DELIVERY, /3/ LOSS IN DAMAGE, AND /4/ AVAILABILITY OF STANDARD EQUIPMENT. RAILWAY SERVICE CAME OUT ON TOP ONLY /1/ IN MATTERS INVOLVING RATES, AND /2/ AVAILABILITY OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT. SINCE RAILWAYS PERFORM THE PRINCIPAL AND POSSIBLY THE ONLY FORM OF FOR-HIRE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION WHICH IS NOT PRESENTLY DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY SUBSIDIZED, IT GIVES RISE TO A SPECIAL PROBLEM WHICH CANNOT BE OVERLOOKED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY STUDY OF THE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF PUBLIC-COST ON TRANSPORTATION. RAILWAY TRANSPORTATION IS CHARACTERIZED BY HIGH CONSTANT COSTS, AND ANY DIVERSION OF RAILWAY TRAFFIC TO A SUBSIDIZED MODE OF MOVEMENT WILL RESULT IN AN INCREASE IN THE PER-UNIT COST OF HANDLING REMAINING TRAFFIC. THE RAILWAYS ARE ESSENTIALLY WHOLESALERS OF FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION AND DEAL BASICALLY IN THE MASS MOVEMENTS OF TRAIN-LOTS, IF AVAILABLE, WITH SHIPPER INCENTIVE RATES APPLYING TO SAME. HIGH TERMINAL COSTS TEND TO MAKE RAILWAYS RATHER EXPENSIVE FOR SHORT-HAUL MOVEMENTS AND THEY ARE POORLY ADAPTED TO THE HANDLING OF LESS-THAN- CARLOAD OR LESS-THAN-CONTAINER FREIGHT, AND THE RESULTING SERVICE ON SUCH FREIGHT GENERALLY IS POOR AS WELL AS COSTLY TO THE RAILWAYS. BECAUSE MOTOR CARRIER COSTS DO NOT FOLLOW THE TAPERING PRINCIPLE, LONG-HAUL TRANSPORTATION BY MOTOR VEHICLE IS ECONOMICAL ONLY AS PART OF PIGGY-BACK SERVICES. EACH TRANSPORTATION MODE POSSESSES ECONOMICAL ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Bull 602, PROC VOL 68, PP 115-123
  • Authors:
    • Miller, M B
  • Publication Date: 1966-11

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  • Accession Number: 00201337
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 5 1994 12:00AM