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How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
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   Author  Topic: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?  (Read 1435 times)
atlpete
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Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #40 on: Sep 8th, 2008, 10:08pm »
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Good point George, PRR was in many ways seemingly paralyzed by it's own bureacracy, the truly innovative roads of the sixties had to challenge the ICC and their own orthodoxies or go down with the ship, Southern was a leader at a time when many other roads confused diversification (asset reallocation) with innovation. As an aside the N&W, C&O, and to some extent the L&N  had coal revenues to lighten their burdens, however I don't remember them for trying to remake themselves as holding companies in the way that I do for say IC along with some other roads where the railroad component got eventully jettisoned, sold or spun off. Sure seems short-sighted now.

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George_Harris
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Posts: 3846
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #41 on: Sep 8th, 2008, 11:35pm »
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L&N could not really diversify even if it wanted to, as it was not independent.  It was controlled by the ACL, and had been for many years.  There was still L&N stock bought and sold, but the company danced to the tune that the ACL was playing.  Among other things, the L&N always declared larger dividends than in should because their dividends were a major source of ACL income and cash for capital improvements.  There were always grumbles about the L&N coal trains paying for the fine ACL speedway instead of improving the tracks in Appalachia on which these coal trains ran.

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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #42 on: Sep 9th, 2008, 10:23am »
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George - atlpete - All -
 
Great to see these insights of what was actually happening!
 
on Sep 8th, 2008, 6:52pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...Southern also was willing to take on the ICC.  Think of the court actions on the "Big John" hoppers for one....
 
With that, George, you get the master of understatement award! I worked at SRS during college, 1961- 62, and at its "Fortress SRS" presence in DC.  
It was them, the Rebs, constantly into the hair of the ICC, the Yanks, all the time! A benefit of DC based offices! SRS was most annoying, with its  
well thought, new ideas. Too, it was quite vocal in its distaste for Federal Barge Lines...  
 
Quote:
...Yes, the ICC was a big problem, but some of the companies were their own worst enemies also...    

Well, part of this was a vice within the conference rate making process. To make that work, it required talk cast in terms of average results of (more  
or less, hypothetical) average operations. Given that, then to case study a specific line. A shrewd operator realized that doing a bit better than average  
could yield impressively better net results. To win in that game, there was no incentive to also encourage others to better their own results.
 
(I can cite examples, in fact, of how the others would do off the record needling of the ...smart kid in the class... for impressive results. Others would  
make the point it lowered average costs figures, thus indicating lower rates, for everyone else.)
 
Within the context, it is hardly a surprise that so much of 103 - 104 average miles length of haul movements diverted to highway competition.
 
BTW, George: You noted an amusing anecdote about the L&N - ACL relationship. Assume it was much the same with CC&O. I can understand the  
bad feeling at Louisville: The young kid hustling his own paper route. His Dad stealing all the earnings! The news route earnings went to pay for Dad's  
flashy, keeping up with the Jones Cadillac!
 
..........................Vern...............  


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photoman475
Historian
Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #43 on: Nov 1st, 2008, 4:00pm »
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To pick up on the Milwaukee a little bit:  I'd consider going aheas with the CNW merger, as you could then abandon one of the main lines to Omaha.  Along with that, go through Iowa and look at and abandon the branch lines where the two railroads run close together.
 
And I agree with not taking on the UP passenger service-don't do it.
 
And for some food for thought: What if the Milwaukee decided to act like John Kneiling always advocated, and ignored the ICC?  Interesting conjecture....


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #44 on: Nov 2nd, 2008, 7:41am »
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on Nov 1st, 2008, 4:00pm, photoman475 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...And for some food for thought: What if the Milwaukee decided to act like John Kneiling always advocated, and ignored the ICC?  Interesting conjecture...

Much as I  read Kneiling when he wrote his column in Trains, somehow this went right past me. I'll have to agree, it would have very likely  
done a great deal of good, had more carriers simply, "...got their backs up..." in dealings with the ICC...
 
IMHO, had several of the Northeast Lines adopted much harder stances, we may have been spared the Great Northeast Railroad Debacle.  
What would have been the risks in playing hard ball? It could have set up a possibilty where the card might have to be played, "...Well, just  
send in the National Guard! Maybe you folks can figure out how to run it better!" Better some insurrection then, rather than collapse of the  
Northeast later?
 
...................Vern................


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ARA18
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Posts: 565
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #45 on: Apr 1st, 2009, 10:47am »
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Ultiamately what it boils down too, was a lack of foresight bu the big railroads. They should have taken the smaller weaker roads. Even the ICC said this the 1920's (when the regulations should have been lifted, but that's another story). Because the C&O was a huge Appalachian hauler, with large export-coal buiseness, combining the C&O with the NYC made most sense, along with the B&O. Because B&O controlled RDG & CNJ both had to brought under the protective wing of a profitable road, who could have trimmed the unprofitability. Of course another merger that shouldn't have occured is EL. Two loser don't make a winner, they a an even bigger loser. NKP was shelfish and sould have taken in DL&W, then the new railroad (we'll call it Lackawnna & Nickel Plate or L&NP), should have started pressuring the PSCs of NY and NJ to subsidize. The L&NP would have better benfitted both railroads. ERIE, WAB, PRR and NH should have merged, into what would have been an N&W subsidiary, possibly called the New England, Pennsylvania & Chicago (NEP&C). The core message as always is  no PC, at all costs.

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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #46 on: Apr 1st, 2009, 11:37am »
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ARA18 -
 
Sigh! I have some religious issues with prospect of C&O + NYC...
 
It was Robert R. Young's idea when he was at NYC, he acknowledged as a bit of a P. T. Barnum, and incorrigible promoter! IMHO, he was just  
trying a raid on the C&O cookie jar, to solve massive NYC problems. Yes, indeed, the concept exciting, but why would C&O have wanted any  
"pay the bills" part of it?
 
...................Vern................


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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #47 on: Dec 13th, 2009, 8:40am »
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So let's take a different look at the Milwaukee Road for a moment.  I've wondered if it would have made more sense for Union Pacific to go after the Milwaukee instead of the Rock Island.
 
The UP gains an Omaha to Chicago main line at last.  This is the big, immediate advantage the UP gains.  It also gains the Seattle-Chicago main line, giving the UP a direct route from the Pacific Northwest.  In turn, this gives the region the competition the ICC was trying to arrange when it approved the BN merger.
 
The UP most likely "closes the gap" on the electification by getting rid of it, but then again, maybe not.  They could rebuild the line and close the gap for more operating efficiency.
 
I'd think the cost to acquire the Milwaukee is higher, but getting two main lines outweighs that cost.  By integrating the Milwaulee's western branches into the UP system, and pruning the Iowa grain branches, I think the Milwaukee may have been a better merger candidate than the Rock.
 
However, by choosing the Rock, the UP apparently only wanted to have an Omaha-Chicago main added to the system.  If that is the case, then perhaps a much earlier merger with the CNW makes more sense.  After all, they ended up with the CNW 30 years later in any case!


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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #48 on: Dec 13th, 2009, 11:01am »
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photoman475 -  
 
In the scenario, what weight given to import of Chicago - Tucumcari, NM. Golden State Route...
 
At the time of this poker game, would a player not desire CGO - LAX instead of CGO - SEA?
 
....................Vern.................


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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #49 on: Dec 13th, 2009, 1:19pm »
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As originally drawn up, wasn't that line supposed to go to Southern Pacific to maintain competition?

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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #50 on: Dec 13th, 2009, 1:39pm »
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While I admit to not being all that familiar with southwestern U.S. track arrangements, wouldn't the UP have been able to run trains from LA to Chicago via Omaha with a Milwaukee merger?  Couldn't they have routed freight the same way as they they did the combined City of Everywhere passenger trains?  Okay, perhaps it's not as straight a shot as the Golden State route would be via New Mexico, if the SP has that line like I was wondering about in my previous post, would the UP have had a choice in the matter then, other than a trackage rights arrangement?
 
I have to ask because how did the UP route freight cars received from the CNW to the West Coast?  I don't know and would like to find out. (The MILW and CNW mains virtually paralleled each other across Illinois and Iowa.)
 
I'm at work right now and don't have access to a good railroad atlas, and having to rely on a coffee-addled memory is not always a good thing!  


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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #51 on: Dec 13th, 2009, 1:53pm »
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on Dec 13th, 2009, 1:19pm, photoman475 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
As originally drawn up, wasn't that line supposed to go to Southern Pacific to maintain competition?

 
photoman475 -
 
Possibly so, but it doesn't pass logic tests? Somehow, might I conclude that various and celebrated "Grand Plan" schemes from the ICC  
were little more, or less than any other fantasy proposals, presented throughout our Government?
 
Such a concept (as you noted) surely an admission the old "Rock Island Protection Conditions" nonsense was long simply that?
 
UPRR + MILW would have simply been another UPRR route into Pacific Northwest? UPRR needed (underlying) CMStP&O for CGO - OMA.  
Possibly, CGO - Twin Cities, too...
 
West of Twin Cities another matter. Was that line of MILW anywhere near essential, as UPRR held OSL (Oregon Short Line) into the Pacific  
Northwest? Beats me! Your innocuous query carries a great deal of "do the homework" baggage! <G>
 
....................Vern............


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #52 on: Dec 13th, 2009, 2:42pm »
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on Dec 13th, 2009, 1:39pm, photoman475 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...wouldn't the UP have been able to run trains from LA to Chicago via Omaha with a Milwaukee merger?...  

 
photoman475 -
 
It didn't seem to bother them all that much? The established East-West routings were CGO - CNW either/or MILW - OMA (Council Bluffs) - UPRR  
Beyond. Once onto UP, it was a highly refined machine. Southern California via Salt Lake City/ Ogden, thence its LA&SL to LAX...
 
The "Joker" in the deck? If one were to get involved in CGO - OMA, there was a great deal of branch line baggage that went with all of it...
 
Vitally, there was no significant miles penalty compared with SFe. The indisputably "short route" was CGO - CRI&P - Tucumcari - ESPEE - LAX...
 
....................Vern.............


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photoman475
Historian
Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #53 on: Dec 15th, 2009, 8:02am »
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And the "Joker" you mentioned, branch line baggage, is going to be a problem-especially in Iowa-no matter who the UP decides to go after as a merger partner, MILW, CNW, RI, or, given the 1964 ICC merger application date, the IC and CGW.  
 
And if the Golden State Route was so good for freight, especially in terms of being competitive mileage-wise with the Santa Fe, then shouldn't the Rock & SP run the wheels off of UP?
 
I pulled out some maps and yes, the Golden State Route IS competitive with Santa Fe.  However, since the UP does not get the Golden State Route-does not even connect with it, according to my maps-it's use by UP cannot happen unless it takes over the SP, which in 1964, we do not know will take place three decades later.
 
What does the UP gain with a Milwaukee merger?  Yes, the Seattle-Chicago main, a sort of main line from Kansas City to the Twin Cities-albeit a very roundabout way to do it-and the Council Bluffs-Chicago main.  
 
What we did not know then, in 1964, but know now, is that the MILW main west of the Twin Cities would have been very valuable to the UP as a route to the Powder River Basin.  The entire Seattle-Chicago main becomes valuable as intermodal grows.  I'm not sure how compatible double stacks and electrification are, but the MILW did run tri-level auto tracks west, so I'd imagine that double stacks could be made to work, too.  
 
On a national level, the MILW is removed as a transcon, not too shabby, since it was the weakest of the transcons by far.
 
Ultimately, the situation we have now is what we should have had to begin with-since Harriman and Hill were foresighted enough to try and do it back in 1904!  


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #54 on: Dec 15th, 2009, 8:58am »
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on Dec 15th, 2009, 8:02am, photoman475 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...And if the Golden State Route was so good for freight, especially in terms of being competitive mileage-wise with the Santa Fe, then shouldn't the Rock & SP run the wheels off of UP?...

photoman475  -  
 
On account ESPEE control of SSW which, true, did not have a Chicago Gateway...
 
Difficult to read the UPRR minds of decades back. Were its concerns a Chicago expansion, the old CGW may have been in its thoughts?  
The instant "look back" and "what if" suggests its interest in MILW might have, in fact, been largely about "Omaha Road" CMStP&O?
 
.................Vern..............


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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #55 on: Dec 15th, 2009, 10:42am »
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But the Omaha is a CNW controlled property, not MILW.  If the UP wanted the Omaha, they'd have filed to merge with the CNW to get the Omaha.
 
Alan


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #56 on: Dec 15th, 2009, 10:52am »
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Alan -  
 
Many Thanks! And, Oooops! So much for "...off the top of the head..." recall...
 
..................Vern...............


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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #57 on: Dec 15th, 2009, 12:29pm »
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Vern-
 
Don't feel bad-there are days I'd have agreed with you-but I have to admit the conversation has been quite fun!  
 
I do find interesting how the UP ended up with the Omaha anyhow-and the CNW, whatever was left of the Minnie & St. Looey & CGW, the entire Golden State Route, Keddie Wye....now the UP has all kinds of choices of getting freight out of Chicago to anywhere on the West Coast!
 
I have to admit that on my home to Illinois, I have to drive through Wisconsin, and seeing UP power on old CNW trackage is a bit jarring!
 
Have a good one.
 
Alan
 


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ehbowen
Railfan
Posts: 242
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #58 on: Dec 15th, 2009, 9:43pm »
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on Dec 13th, 2009, 2:42pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Vitally, there was no significant miles penalty compared with SFe. The indisputably "short route" was CGO - CRI&P - Tucumcari - ESPEE - LAX...
 
....................Vern.............

 
Vern, I don't quite check you on this one. According to my July 1954 OG, the Santa Fe main line from Chicago to LA measured out at 2223.7 miles. The freight routing via the Belen cutoff (Wichita-Amarillo-Belen) would have added 16.3 miles and if you ran via Topeka in Kansas it would add another 15.0 miles, for a total distance of 2255 miles. Union Pacific's line from Chicago-LA via Ogden and Las Vegas totaled 2299 miles with partner railroad C&NW Chicago-Omaha; via Rock Island it was 5 miles longer. The Golden State Route, Chicago-LA via Kansas City, Tucumcari, El Paso and Phoenix measured out at 2269 miles by the most direct routing (bypassing Douglas via Deming and Benson [saves 31 miles]; bypassing Phoenix via Maricopa [saves 43 miles]. So I have ATSF as the shortest route, freight or passenger, with the Golden State Route a close second and UP bringing up the rear.


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: How would you have changed the fate of the fallen?
 
« Reply #59 on: Dec 16th, 2009, 8:09am »
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Eric -  
 
Thanks! Nothing like an Official Guide to sort it out! (I can't locate an issue, or two, I have from the era.)
 
Sources I relied upon may have had some ambiguous explanation. Alternatively, reliance on old Rock Island promo material.  
The added miles noted for Golden State Route on the old ESPEE part of it...
 
...................Vern...............


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