National Geographic : 1947 Nov
227,000-MILE YARDSTICK Railroad progress speaks for itself. But it is not measured in talk. It is measured by the exact yardstick of results... results which show up in better service to the public by all American railroads-227,000 miles of them. Results in better passenger service: Railroads were pioneers in air conditioning. Today practically every passenger car on principal runs is air conditioned. Back in 1934, railroads introduced streamlined trains. And - although no passenger equipment could be built in the war years-today around 150 of these trains, sleek symbols of modern transportation, cover 100,000 miles every 24 hours. Many more are being built! Results in more efficient freight service: The work done each day by the average freight car practicallydoubled between 1926 and 1946. And in the first five months of 1947 it was almost 10% more than that! That's one big reason why railroads are able to handle the greatest peacetime traffic in history with fewer freight cars than they have had in many years! Results in greater safety: In 1946 collision, derailment, and other train acci dents resulted in only one passenger fatality for each 996,000,000 miles traveled! These facts are yardsticks of railroad progress. Railroad progress is the product of many minds ... of much planning... of constant research ... of wide cooperation and the expenditure of billions of dollars. And in measuring progress, it's not promises but results that count. TO CONTINUE THIS PROGRESS ... the railroads must earn an adequate income. Over the last 25 years-and that includes the war years-the railroads have earned an average of only 3% % annually on their net investment. Most people think 6% would be no more than fair. And 6% is the minimum the railroads need to con tinue to provide the kind of transportation you want. Association of American Railroads WASHINGTON 6. D. C.