« ПредишнаНапред »
living was not yet as disturbing a factor as it became later; and the general morale of the service was fairly satisfactory.
Almost immediately after the signing of the armistice, there came a marked slackening. The spur of patriotism disappeared. The common motive to excel was lacking. The game was over. The war had been won. The minds of both officers and men turned to their personal interests.
Early in January, 1919, the first of the protracted hearings on the return of the railroads was held by the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce. Then began a country-wide discussion of the railroad problem and the formulation of the many "plans” for its solution. To add to the confusion the lid was lifted from the cauldron of dissatisfaction on the part of shippers and travelers. With the conclusion of military activity there came an insistent demand for a resumption of pre-war service and pre-war shipping privileges. A natural reaction set in against governmental administration. The states began to assert their rights and the shippers' organizations became active in their criticism. An agitation was started to restore the rate-making power of the Interstate Commerce Commission and a Congressional bill designed to bring it about failed only because vetoed by the President.
Coupled with these disturbing factors, the cost of living continued to mount. Railroad employees had expected prices to drop. The higher wage awards of the Railroad Administration were found to have less purchasing power than the prewar wages. The spirit of unrest found expres
sion in insistent demands for further wage increases. The appeal of patriotism could no longer be invoked, and the general feeling of discontent with economic conditions in all lines of business seriously undermined the morale of railroad service.
Observing the distinction between the characteristics of the first and the second year of federal control, attention will be directed first to a review of 1918, with particular reference to the methods adopted under the policy of unification and standardization. This policy was applied principally to the features of operation enumerated below.
Joint use of passenger and freight terminals.
Standardization of operating statistics. The Railroads' War Board had made considerable progress in arranging for the joint use of terminals, other facilities, and equipment, but the United States Railroad Administration went much further. The attention of the regional directors was concentrated upon this feature of operation during the first few months of federal control and the Director General stressed it. The 1918 annual reports of the regional directors claim large savings in operating expenses by reason of unification of facilities, but these estimates of economies must be accepted with reservations. In many cases the apparent savings at one point were partly offset by additional expenses elsewhere.* In many cases, too, they were made at the cost of much inconvenience to the shipping and traveling public. On the whole, however, there were real net savings and, what was more important, the capacity of the roads as a national system to produce ton-miles and passenger-miles was increased.
The example best known to the public was the joint use of the Pennsylvania New York City terminal by the passenger trains of the Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio, and Lehigh Valley roads. Such common use of the new terminal was not contemplated when it was designed, but the plan proved to be feasible and it resulted in better service to the public. In freight service one of the best examples was in Chicago. Its terminal district embraces an area of about 2,500 square miles. It is served by 40 railroads which at that time were interchanging about 40,000 cars daily. Plans were worked out under federal control by which the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad was used more extensively as a connecting link between the eastern and the western trunk lines for the handling of through freight not requiring icing, while perishable freight was concentrated on the Indiana Harbor Belt Line. Industries on the St. Charles Air Line were formerly served by the separate switching locomotives and crews of 19 railroads. The new plan provided that the Illinois Central forces should do all of the work for itself and for the eastern lines (with the exception of the Michigan Central); and the Burlington forces were to do all of the work for the western lines. Passenger trains of the Baltimore & Ohio and of the Pere Marquette between Pine Junction and Sixteenth Street were diverted to the Pennsylvania tracks in both directions, thus freeing the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago terminal of all passenger business with its retarding effect on the freight service, shortening the run of these passenger trains by 7 miles and their running time by 40 minutes.
*The annual estimated savings through joint use of terminals, yards, and like facilities were estimated in 1918 as follows: Eastern region, $4,172,000; Allegheny region, $4,037,526; Pocahontas region, $1,495,603; Southern region, $2,182,260; Northwestern region, $4,888,993; Central Western region, $5,325,000; Southwestern region, $1,434,000; total $23,535,382. A substantial part of this gross saving was offset by increases in other costs.
All of the regional directors in their 1918 annual reports gave imposing lists of instances of unification or consolidation of physical facilities. The Allegheny region alone reported 875 cases; the Southern, 140; and the Southwestern, 272. Most of these unifications were relatively unimportant individually, but they included practically all of the important terminals throughout the country. The degree of unification, of course, had a wide range of difference, according to practicability. In some cases it was comprehensive; in other cases very slight. Where there were two or more engine houses of different corporate ownership it was found feasible in a few cases to close one or more of them and to concentrate the work in one. Such a plan worked well at Galveston. The separate car inspection forces maintained by the individual roads to protect their individual interests under private operation were consolidated into one joint force at a large number of interchange points. In some cases one freight station was used for the business of two or more roads and the stations from which the business was diverted were closed.
* Railway Age, vol. 68, p.78, January 2, 1920.
At some points savings were made by having all of the switching service performed by one road where, under competitive conditions, separate switching service had been performed by all of the competing carriers.
The same principle was applied to the joint use of running tracks where such action was advisable. For example, Baltimore & Ohio trains between McKeesport and New Castle were diverted over the tracks of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie and the Pennsylvania, where one locomotive could handle as many tons as five locomotives could handle between the same points on the Baltimore & Ohio. Coal and coke from the lower Connellsville region on the Baltimore & Ohio road were routed over the Monongahela, the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, and the Pennsylvania lines to the