Re: Railway express agency (was LCL)

Tim O'Connor


In those times, interstate regulation was very extensive. Ever see the ICC building
in Washington? It's MASSIVE.

But from 1929 onwards REA was owned by a consortium of railroads with shares proportional
to the amount of express revenues of the 69 owners. From 1961 onwards the REA leased space
on railroad trains and kept 50% of the profits (previously 90% of profits went to the owner
railroads) and the ICC (in the 1960's) prohibited REA from operating all-truck services and
only allowed them to use trucks in conjunction with rail service. This prevented REA from
becoming UPS or Fedex. :-(

As the first major "corporations" in America the railroads were subjected to the greatest
amount of regulation as corporate and anti-trust laws (and unions) were invented during the
100 years after the Civil War. These conditions really circumscribed the railroads' business
and severely limited them. The rest, as they say, is history.


On 8/10/2019 12:52 PM, Lee Thwaits wrote:
Was  REA legally tied to the railroads?  I always wondered why it didn't become a trucking competitor to UPS.
Lee Thwaits

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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