Costs and Decision Making in Transportation RSMA 1965 Soft Cover Railway Systems

Costs and Decision Making in Transportation RSMA 1965 Soft Cover Railway Systems

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Costs and Decision Making in Transportation RSMA 1965 Soft Cover Railway Systems
Costs and Decision Making in Transportation RSMA 1965 Soft Cover Railway Systems and Management Association. Approx 110 pages.
As I reviewed the program and as I looked at the attendance lists and noticed the fine industries represented and the type of people represented at this meeting, I was very much impressed with the fact that when I came into the industry and I was active in RSMA, we would not have sponsored a meeting such as this because I doubt that we would have had ten people in attendance.
Back in 1954, 1955, and 1956, the subjects that are on the agenda today were thought of by a few, but they were a very small group, and as a result, we did not even conceive of the integration that is represented by this meeting, integration of interests, of industries and of different modes of transportation. There are significant reasons for this and for this change in the last ten years.
I have been in the industry for about ten years. In many respects, I think in coming into the industry, 1954 was probably about as bad a time as you can pick. The industry was deteriorating. It was getting weaker and weaker. Its financial condition was eroding. The wage settlements of 1954, 1955, and 1956 were particularly brutal. The industry finally woke up to the fact that it was no solution just to offer across-the-board rate increases to offset wage increases. As a result, there has been a definite trend since that time, which started in the late '50's and is now gaining momentum, to change the railway industry's attitude toward rates, and, of course, in the process, to put greater emphasis on costs. This trend has been so marked that today, many consider the railroad industry a growth industry, and I, for one, share that view. I think we hit bottom in about 1961, and I think we are going up from here. We have gone up in 1963, and again in 1964.
I might say that for those of you who are not railroaders, I hope to be a little broader in some of my later comments. I, of course, am railroad oriented, so many of my problems and the things I am involved in are, of course, directly related with the railroad industry.
There are a number of reasons for the new vitality in the railroad industry. We have attacked almost every problem that we could find on almost every front that we could find. This includes the work rule disputes that have been settled to a degree. It also includes the activities we have engaged in in obtaining more equitable taxation both on the Federal and State level. It is involved in the increasing use of labor saving as well as efficiency producing devices ranging from maintenance-of-way equipment to large-scale computers. These have all been important and all very significant.
I think, however, the single most important factor in turning the railroad industry around and putting it into the position where some of us consider it a growth industry is the move toward competitive rate making. We are now operating and acting like a competitive industry, and while this may seem strange for an industry that is as old as the railroad industry, I think it is really a fact with which you cannot argue too much.
Of course, any time you talk about competitive rate making, you inevitably have to get to costs. There has to be a definite relationship between the rates and the costs.

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