Great Northern Railway: A History

Great Northern Railway: A History

by Ralph W. Hidy, Muriel E. Hidy
     
 

ISBN-10: 0816644292

ISBN-13: 9780816644292

Pub. Date: 03/05/2004

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

In the sprawling Northwest, from the upper Mississippi River valley to Puget Sound, no railroad shaped the landscape and society like the Great Northern Railway Company. This is the complete history of that enterprise, from 1856, when the first charter was granted, through the era of James J. Hill-known as the Empire Builder-to its maturation and eventual merger in

Overview

In the sprawling Northwest, from the upper Mississippi River valley to Puget Sound, no railroad shaped the landscape and society like the Great Northern Railway Company. This is the complete history of that enterprise, from 1856, when the first charter was granted, through the era of James J. Hill-known as the Empire Builder-to its maturation and eventual merger in 1970, when the eight-thousand-mile Great Northern was incorporated into the massive Burlington Northern.The Great Northern Railway highlights the changes brought on by economic, political, social, and technological advances, including world wars, increased competition from other modes of transportation, and tighter government restrictions. The first part of the book (1856-1916) examines the railway's early strategies and philosophy, relations with employees, and vigorous campaigns to develop the service area. The second part of the history (1916-1970) offers an assessment of a dramatic period of transition for the railroad-international conflicts, the Great Depression, the rise of motor vehicles, increasing labor costs, and stronger unions. Illustrated with more than two hundred maps, period photographs, and drawings, the volume also includes appendixes listing the original track-laying history, track removals, ruling grades on main freight routes, and main line ruling grades from Minneapolis to Seattle. Ralph W. Hidy and Muriel E. Hidy were professors of business history at Harvard Business School. Roy V. Scott is professor of history at Mississippi State University. Don L. Hofsommer is professor of history at St. Cloud State University.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816644292
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
03/05/2004
Series:
Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
546,084
Product dimensions:
10.75(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacexi
Acknowledgmentsxii
Introductionxiii
List of Abbreviationsxv
Part I1856 To 1916
1The First Ten Miles2
2Frustrated by Finance5
The Branch Line Comes First5
Main Line West9
3Growing Pains11
Settlers for the Land14
Freight Traffic16
4Northern Pacific Interlude18
Completing the Main Line20
The St. Vincent Extension22
5Legislation and Litigation25
Conflict in Hard Times25
Laws and Lawsuits26
6The Associates Gain Control28
Negotiating a Bond Purchase28
Completing Rail Links31
Eliminating Potential Competition32
Tag Ends of a Long-Tailed Kite34
7The Manitoba36
Men and Organization36
Construction and Relations with Other Railroads39
Terminals in the Twin Cities45
Financial Management46
8Consolidations and Adjustments49
The Canadian Pacific49
Strengthening Credit51
Boston Investors53
9From Butte to Buffalo54
Systematizing Administration54
The Long March to Montana56
Eastward to Buffalo61
10Tensions in Finance66
A New Problem66
Dissension, 1887-188967
11On to Puget Sound72
New Dress72
Engineering Challenges74
"Head of the Rake"75
Sterling Bonds of 189078
Building the Transcontinental79
12Creating an Empire85
Expansion in Minnesota85
Control of the Northern Pacific and the Burlington88
Jockeying for Position in the Northwest93
Continuing Skirmishes with the Canadian Pacific96
13Developing the Northwest99
Organization and Development Improving and Strengthening Agriculture103
14Men and Mallets108
Men and Organization108
First Years as a Transcontinental108
Fleshing Out109
Traffic Generation and the Oregon Lands115
Motive Power, Rolling Stock, and the Rates117
15Locals, Limiteds, and Liners121
Expansion and Improvements121
Of Things Nautical121
Advertising, Glacier Park, and Rocky124
Express, Mail, and Silk125
Pricing the Service126
16Corporate Structure and Finance130
Early Experience130
Consolidating Properties133
Finances of a Maturing Railroad135
17"Leading the Band"136
Basic Principles136
Union-Management Relations, 1883-1893137
The ARU Strike and Its Aftermath139
Toward Parity with Competitors, 1900-1916143
Part II1916 To 1970
Introduction148
18World War I and the USRA148
The Heritage148
The GN under Federal Control151
Return to Private Operation152
19Of Good News and Bad155
Preparing for Control155
Frustrations and Realities157
Fighting Recession158
Resuming Course--with a Difference159
20Polishing the Operation162
Upgrading Plant and Equipment162
Reducing Costs165
Conquering the Cascades166
Building Freight Traffic171
21Passenger Business and Change172
The St. Paul Union Depot173
Highway Competition174
Upgrading Transcontinental Travel178
Advertising and Promotion181
22Expansion and Development182
More Branch Lines182
Lure of California184
Frustrations in Colonizing187
Agricultural Diversification and Irrigation188
Northern Montana: Special Problems190
23An Attempted Merger191
24Corporate Health195
Growth in Funded Debt195
Performance198
25The Tangled Ways of Finance199
Setting the Course199
Financial Management200
Over the Hurdle203
Controlling Expense205
26Traffic and Profits in Adversity207
The Passenger Department208
Truck Competition210
Developmental Programs and Federal Stimulants213
Survival215
27The Pressures of War--Again216
Gavin's Preparations216
Mobilization218
Cooperation under Regulation220
Performance and Financial Policy226
28Labor-Management Relations in Depression and War230
Cooperation in Hard Times230
War and Prosperity232
29Prosperity Under Stress238
Expectations and Realities238
Maximizing Efficiency240
The Operating and Financial Record245

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >