Is it actually the unions that destroyed railways in US?

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  • 5 months ago
    Best answer

    It was the railroads themselves. At one time railroads were the strongest, richest corporations in the US and they made all the laws that concerned them, like the oil companies today. If you read about them you'd be surprised at the greed and corruption. They even got huge govt. subsidies to maintain their track and build new track.

    In the early years of the 20th century it became possible to ship goods by truck. The railroads could have OWNED this! They could have put truck trailers on flat cars and carried them across the country much much cheaper. If they'd done that, we'd use trucks today only to deliver goods locally, from the railhead. But the railroads saw themselves as being in the railroad business, NOT the transportation business.

    When airlines came along, after WWII, rail passenger traffic plummeted. You'd think railroads would miss the passenger business that was taken away from them, but in fact they wanted out of the passenger business altogether! They didn't make as much money on it. So the govt. had to pass laws making freight business contingent on carrying passengers. Finally, in 1971 they got the govt. to take over passenger business with Amtrak. I don't think Amtrak has ever made a profit.

    In the meanwhile, since freight is never in a big hurry, the railroads (and govt.) slacked off on rail maintenance. So even passenger trains today in the US don't go faster than maybe 40 mph. So nobody rides on them. There's still plenty of freight on rails though!

    WHENEVER an industry goes south, the Republicans blame unions. When car makers wanted bigger profits they moved out of Detroit to 'right to work' states in the South. That certanly hasn't helped the auto industry! The car companies have made one bad management decision after another! But Repubs blame unions and also blacks.

  • 5 months ago

    Peter Gore Seer,

    Poverty Creates Huge Proffit For The I% Who Control The US, Much Goods Like Food Is Dump To Starve The None Productive Work Force.No Goods No Trains, The Germans Japs Have Got Much Of The US , Blimey The Yanks Lost Levi To China Real American Made In China.

  • Fred
    Lv 5
    5 months ago

    Myself not being a 'Union Man' (in any form!) ; this answer may surprise you!

    The Union... I'm not making this up nor a 'union man' … Saved the rail corporations from destroying themselves!!!

    ?They literally worked men to a point beyond exhaustion and rail accidents were very common. Very Common!

    By reducing the long hours rail tyrants worked their men; the accident rate evaporated!

    The union and history .. has a different path after that event. Regardless of any history after that accomplishment... we all owe the union a great deal for improving our lives... and that's the point were I am going to go silent. (!)

  • Mike
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    They didn't help with their feather bed requirements.

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  • 5 months ago

    No. It was mainly competition from roads, airplanes, and trucks.

  • 5 months ago

    Passenger rail service was drastically reduced by a number of factors. The biggest single reason, though, was the affordable availability of air travel. why take a three day train trip from Los Angles to New York, when for the approximately the same price, 5 hours by air. Plus if you take the Amtrak sleeper, it casts far more.

  • david
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    No. It was changing times. More roads were built and people bought cars so they traveled by car and not by train. People value the convenience of car (and now air) travel more than train. Travel by train is extremely inconvenient. To get to the station you need a cab. Once at the destination you need another cab .. or must rent a car if you will be there very long and need transportation in the new city. ... Trains are just inconvenient especially for todays society. ==== What was the last movie with train travel playing a role?? North By Northwest? And if it wasn't for Cary Grant it would have been a bust. == So in the 50s?? Trains are just not a current part of society. ======= Unions did not destroy railways, time and changes in lifestyle did that.

    • Mike
      Lv 7
      5 months agoReport

      Silver Streak, Narrow Margin, Murder on the Orient Express

  • 5 months ago

    Truck car, tire and diesel fuel makers did that. Aircraft makers helped. Federal government also did it by building a lot of smooth fast highways like Hitler did in the 1930s. Eisenhower was so impressed with them that he made sure the 1950s Congress spent the money for the USA Interstate and US highways.

    Source(s): Rode around with my parents in the 1950s and early 1960s before all and then most of Interstates were completed. Once rode on only freeway in Los Angeles in 1954, the Pasadena. I was impressed. I waited 16 years before I moved to Southern California. Wow! Lots of freeways then, and traffic moved pretty good. Not nice now.
  • Lolly
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Since when are railways destroyed?

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    No. Unions are responsible for why you have healthcare, a living wage, weekends, and why your child can go to school and not get his/her fingers cut off by a factory machine. They're why you have any workplace protections at all, actually.

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