Another Silly Question (cont'd)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Woodie, Jul 19, 2001.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Does anyone know the height of the number of railroad companies in the US? HOw many were there?


    (Cont'd from tech talk)
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Hey Woodie - I don't have time to look right now but I know I've seen web sites dealing with "family trees" and "fallen flags". I'm sure the number is in the 100's, or even 1000's if you count the smaller lines.
  3. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    I think one of the reasons that there were/are so many American railroads is because they were private endeavors. For example, when the need for a railroad between two points arose, the first group of investors who could raise the money built it. The result was that there were numerous small, privately owned lines, many of which merged into larger companies as a matter of econonic survival. Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, for example, are composed of many smaller railroads. (Some railroads started out big, though.)

    Some railroads were built by government bodies. The State of Texas owns at least one railroad, the Texas State Railroad Historical Park, which was originally called the Texas State Railroad. It was built to service an iron smelting plant operated by one of the prisons. It now runs daily excursion trains between the towns of Palestine (pal-es-steen) and Rusk (where the prison was located).

    The U.S. population is considerably larger than Australia's (imagine the population of the State of Texas spread over the entire continental U.S.), so there was/is a greater need for more railroads! [​IMG]

  4. LC

    LC Member

    In your search engine enter "fallen flag railroad photos" it's a web sight, very informative and well run dealing with U.S. railroads past and present. Lots of good quality photos.


    [This message has been edited by LC (edited 07-19-2001).]

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