Railroad Rates And Federal Regulation of Transportation

September 27, 1934

Report Outline
Position of the Railroads in Autnum of 1934
The Railroads' Plea for Higher Freight Rates
Financial Condition of Railroads in the Depression
Pension Law and the Emergency Transportation Act
Regulation of Competing Transportation Agencies
Special Focus

Position of the Railroads in Autnum of 1934

Hearings before the Interstate Commerce Commission on a petition of the railroads for authorization of higher freight rates are to begin October 1. Except for a temporary increase in the rates on certain commodities, effective from January 4, 1932, to September 30, 1933, and except for increases involved in revisions of so-called class rates—in the Southwest in 1928 and in eastern and western trunkline territory in 1931—no general freight-rate advances have been granted since 1920. On the contrary, charges for transportation of freight by rail have followed a declining course since that year.

An upturn in freight traffic in 1933 and the first half of 1934 tended to make less acute the financial stress experienced by the rail carriers, but in petitioning for higher freight rates they united in the view that the proposed increases were necessary to help meet higher wage and material costs and lift the threat of insolvency from a large number of important, railway systems. A substantial expansion of the volume of traffic was also termed essential in coping with the present financial problem. Since the beginning of the second half of 1934 the immediate outlook for the railroads has been darkened by a new decline in freight traffic, which has continued without check for nearly three months.

Formation of Association of American Railroads

As a means of better safeguarding their interests and better promoting solution of their common problems, railway executives voted at a meeting in Chicago on September 21, to consolidate in a single organization the activities of the American Railway Association and the Association of Railway Executives. John J. Pelley, president of the New York, New Haven & Hartford, was elected president of the new organization, which was named the Association of American Railroads. Reports that Pelley would make his position that of a railroad czar in opposition to Joseph B. Eastman, the Federal Coordinator of Transportation, were countered in railway circles by the assertion that the new association would work with, rather than against, Eastman. Support for this view was given in independent quarters, where it was held that Pelley's selection went far to insure the maximum of cooperation between the carriers and the Coordinator.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Railroads
May 01, 2009  High-Speed Trains Updated
Oct. 18, 2002  Future of Amtrak
Apr. 16, 1993  High-Speed Rail
Mar. 10, 1978  Future of American Railroads
Mar. 07, 1975  Railroad Reorganization
Jun. 20, 1973  Railroad Nationalization
Nov. 17, 1961  Railroad Subsidies
Aug. 24, 1960  Railroad Mergers
Jan. 01, 1958  Condition of the Railroads
Jan. 31, 1951  Railway Safety
Oct. 04, 1944  Railroad Freight Rates
Jun. 12, 1939  The Government and the Railroads
Apr. 21, 1938  Government Ownership of the Railroads
Dec. 07, 1937  Railroad Rates and Revenues
Jul. 17, 1937  Advances in Railway Passenger Service
Sep. 27, 1934  Railroad Rates And Federal Regulation of Transportation
Jan. 11, 1933  Railroad Receiverships and Reorganizations
Aug. 26, 1932  The Railroads and the Depression
Oct. 13, 1931  Wages of Railroad Labor
Jul. 09, 1931  Railroad Freight Rates
Feb. 14, 1931  The Railroad Consolidation Controversy
Sep. 19, 1927  The Problem of Railroad Valuation
Mar. 30, 1927  Railroad Consolidation and Prospective Legislation
Mar. 26, 1927  Principles of Railroad Consolidation
Mar. 08, 1926  Railway Labor Disputes Legislation
May 04, 1925  The Baltimore and Ohio Cooperation Plan
Sep. 12, 1924  National Railroad Consolidation and the Van Sweringen Merger
Aug. 14, 1924  Automatic Train Control in Relation to Railroad Casualties
May 28, 1924  The Condition of American Railroads
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