Join Solutionary Rail and Railroad Workers United TOMORROW (Tuesday, June 8th) for the first in a series of discussions on the history of US railroads.
We open this series with a presentation on the Railroad Land Grants of the 1860s, by researcher George Draffan, author of the book Railroads and Clearcuts.
George will discuss land grants and their impact on the power of railroads from 1860 to 1941. He will respond to participant questions about the deals struck with Northern Pacific and how Congress and the courts defended – or failed to defend – the public’s interests.
More info on this topic can be found HERE and HERE.
Throughout this series, we’ll explore the interweaving of public investment and private profit as related to the US class 1 railroads.
We will explore how these common carriers inspired our first regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission.
What were the public benefit expectations that accompanied the monopoly privileges of the railroads?
What were they given by the US Congress and what were the terms?
Together, we will gradually unravel some of the complex history that is at the foundation for our present day conundrum, i.e. an interstate rail infrastructure that evades public attention and accountability to 21st public interests.
On Tuesday, June 22nd we’ll delve into Part 2 of the History of Rail, focusing on the regulatory backbone of the railroads, deregulation, and a timeline of 20th Century oversight.
The 3rd session in this series, diving into Amtrak and passenger rail with Steve Chrismer, will happen in late June/early July. More info to come.