Passenger trains also may not discriminate in rates or service because they offer carrier service to the general public. Congress and the states have enacted numerous statutes and regulations to address the extraordinary number of issues presented by railroads.
The subject matter of these statutes and administrative regulations ranges from safety regulations to local speed limits to rate controls.
In Congress created the Federal Railroad Administration along with the Transportation Department to give special attention to railroad concerns. The success of the railroad system was not without costs.
Railroad work proved to be among the most dangerous occupations in existence. Freight car derailments, undependable brakes, and the challenging task of switching heavy, rolling cars from one track to another in railroad yards all took their toll on railroad workers.
Approximately 3, railroad workers were killed each year between and , and the death toll continued at approximately one a day for several years after that. States began to enact safety measures to protect railroad employees, but the state laws varied and did not always provide protection for workers.
The act provides for safety enforcement procedures, track safety standards, freight car safety standards, emergency order procedures, train-marking regulations, accident report procedures, locomotive safety and inspection standards, safety appliance standards, power brake and drawbar specifications, and regulations on signal systems and train control systems.
Railroad work is still a relatively taxing occupation, but it is nowhere near as dangerous as it once was. The quality of freight equipment has improved, and due to the creation of single-unit trains, freight cars do not have to be switched from track to track as often as they once were. Most railroad-related accidents and deaths now occur at grade crossings, where railroad tracks cross roadways. Railroad labor, management, and executive unions have been responsible for many of the gains in railroad safety.
Railroad unions were some of the first unions created, and they quickly evolved to be among the most powerful. Under the law, railroads are a special form of transportation. Railroad companies must pay taxes on their land and pay for the maintenance of their rights of way.
This is not the case for other transporters. Trucking companies do not have to pay their own separate taxes for roadways, and they do not have to pay to maintain them. Barge companies do not have to pay taxes on or maintain the waterways that they use, and airlines use airports and airways built in large part with public funds. Railroad companies must pay to build and maintain their tracks because they are for their exclusive use. However, railroad companies have received some assistance from government because railroads are important to the nation's economy and because they have needed it.
In the s the trucking industry made technological strides that put it in direct competition with the railroads. Pneumatic tires were created to support heavier freights, hydraulic brakes were devised to safely increase the weight of a load, and a network of paved intercity highways provided easy access and direct routes.
The market advantages of trucking became apparent immediately, and the golden age of railroading came to an end after World War II. Railroads abandoned thousands of miles of tracks and laid-off workers.
The radical shift in transportation reshaped the map of the United States as small towns that depended on railroads for business turned into ghost towns. The consolidation resulted in some abandonments, but it eliminated duplicate mileage and helped save and maintain the most popular routes. It was to be divided between the two companies. Congress gave railroad companies federal funds to upgrade the railroad system in the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 45 U.
This act also shortened the length of time that railroads had to wait before abandoning a track. President jimmy carter proved to be a champion of railroad deregulation. Under Carter's watch, the Interstate Commerce Commission dropped the government controls on shipping rates for coal, eliminated regulations regarding the shipping of produce, and made it easier for railroads to abandon unprofitable lines.
Congress topped off several years of railroad legislation with the Staggers Rail Act of codified in scattered sections of titles 11, 45, and 49 of the U. The Staggers Act eliminated government rate controls and made it still easier for railroads to abandon lines. Although the deregulation resulted in many layoffs, the changes lowered prices, made railroads more profitable, and allowed railroad companies to increase expenditures on safety measures.
The railroad system in the United States reached its peak in , when approximately , miles of rails existed.
As of , less than , miles of rails exist. Railroads do not dominate the transportation market like they once did, but the railroad system has been pared down and stabilized. The rails remain necessary for large, bulky loads of heavy cargo. For personal transportation, the passenger service Amtrak was established in and subsidized by Congress to provide nationwide railroad passenger service at reduced rates. Working conditions in 19th century America were often challenging, but workers may have been better off working for a robber baron.
Rockefeller and Ford, for example, paid higher-than-average wages, including bonuses for innovation or exceptional production. Managers often received long vacations at full pay. Some tycoons rank among the most noted philanthropist of all time. Hill publicized and provided free education about crop diversification, along with free seed grain, cattle and wood to local communities.
He would even transport immigrants at reduced rates if they promised to farm near his railroads. A mogul is an individual who has been very successful in business Discover seven mutual funds from Baron Capital that provide excellent diversification to the growth-oriented portion of a retirement savings portfolio.
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As electric-car maker Tesla suffers production woes, it's also losing top talent. Definition of 'robber baron' Word Frequency. US any of a number of U. Example sentences containing 'robber baron' These examples have been automatically selected and may contain sensitive content.
With robber barons in charge, incompetence and irresponsibility is becoming the norm. Times, Sunday Times Many critics assert that modern managers have no more social conscience or " soul " than the nineteenth-century robber barons. The Evolution of Economic Institutions and Ideologies
Robber baron definition is - an American capitalist of the latter part of the 19th century who became wealthy through exploitation (as of natural resources, governmental influence, or low wage scales).
A robber baron or robber knight was an unscrupulous and despotic noble of the medieval period in Europe. The term has slightly different meanings in different countries. In modern U.S. parlance, the term is also used to describe unscrupulous industrialists.
A robber baron is a term that is also sometimes attributed to any successful businessman or woman whose practices are considered unethical or unscrupulous. This can include employee or environmental abuse, stock market manipulation or restricting output to charge higher prices. Grant for preserving the Union (he eventually published the statesman's best-selling memoirs); wrote in favor of rights for African Americans but was fond of telling racist jokes (and co-authored with Bret Harte the grotesquely anti-Chinese play Ah Sin); assailed the Gilded Age yet formed a close personal and professional relationship with the robber baron Henry Rogers; lampooned con men and scam artists .
In the s the term began to be used to describe business tycoons, and the usage persisted throughout the rest of the 19th century. The late s and the first decade of the 20th century is sometimes referred to as an age of robber barons. If you refer to someone as a robber baron, you mean that they have made a very large amount of money and have been prepared to act illegally or in an immoral way in order to do so. COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary.