Regulation of Railroad Abandonments, The By Charles Cherington Hard Cover 1948

Regulation of Railroad Abandonments, The By Charles Cherington Hard Cover 1948

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Regulation of Railroad Abandonments, The By Charles Cherington Hard Cover 1948
The Regulation of Railroad Abandonments By Charles Cherington Hard Cover 1948 Harvard Political Studies 277 Pages
THIS is a study of a single phase of the administrative activities of the Interstate Commerce Commission-the regulation of railroad abandonments under authority delegated to it by the Transportation Act of 1920. It has two objectives. The first is to give a comprehensive picture of federal regulation of the railroad abandonment problem during a period of profound change in the transportation industry. The Commission's record constitutes a specific example of an administrative effort to distill "the public interest" out of a welter of conflicting private interests and against a background of rapidly shifting economic conditions. The second objective is perhaps more difficult to achieve. It is to draw from the experience of the Commission in this single narrow field of administrative activity whatever tentative conclusions are possible concerning current problems of regulatory administration as a whole. The Commission's powers over railroad abandonments represent only a minor part of its total functions. And, of course, the Commission itself is but one administrative body among many. Yet a thoroughgoing study of a single phase of its work may produce lessons which will be of more general value in connection with some of the issues which all students of the regulatory process must face.
The twin stimuli of war and the demand for social justice continue to push the regulatory administrator forward on his apparently inexorable march to power. The coming of peace has led to a reaction of sorts. But it is extremely unlikely that the basic trend will be reversed permanently. It is therefore increasingly useful to look to the nature of the regulatory administration itself, to examine both its strengths and its weaknesses as it has actually developed.

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