Re: The advent of "Modern" freight cars

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>

Jack Wyatt wrote

They are talking about the modern merger movement. The earlier
consolidations were to build up the railroad systems. By the twenties, that
had pretty much played itself out and things went into a hiatus for a many

I would attribute the "hiatus" to a very restrictive regulatory
environment -- the basic driver for consolidation never changed.
Rationalization and efficiency were desperately needed since long
before the war. The crash of 1929 also had a large effect as many
companies went into receivership and this basically removed them
from the playing table until their solvency (and independence)
could be restored. If you delve into postwar railroad business
history, you'll find almost everyone was talking to someone else
about potential mergers. Obviously egos and postwar prosperity
delayed the inception of actual mergers until things started to
turn sour in the late 1950's.

I think the EL-DL&W merger came at the very end of the STMFC era.
I agree with Richard that 1960 is a good boundary -- freight car
technology, second generation diesels, passenger train offs, and
mergers were rapidly changing the business after that point.

The modern movement was for greater efficiencies and savings by
reducing excess capacity, though some mergers were also end to end in nature
to enhance the ability to achieve long hauls. Many academics do indeed say
that L&N-NC&StL was the start of the modern movement, but to me they were
already pretty much together already. I'm trying to think if I'm overlooking
a merger, but my candidate for the start of the modern merger movement is
Erie-DL&W => EL. That's past the time period of this list, isn't it?

Jack Wyatt

Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> -->> NOTE EMAIL CHANGE <<--
Sterling, Massachusetts

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