Category Archives: Class 1 rails


Class 1 freight rails: part 3 – Hunter Harrison, PSR, and investment implications

No analysis of the North American railroad industry would be complete without a discussion of Hunter Harrison as no single person has had a bigger impact on the operating performance of Class 1 railroads over the last 25 years. A lifelong railroader who began his career oiling railcars in the early ‘60s when he was […]

Class 1 freight rails: part 2 – freight types, route structures, and growth

Part 1 of this series offers a historical survey of how today’s Class 1 rails came to be. Parts 2 and 3 start at the ground level with the very basics of freight carriage, build up to an understanding of how an industry that had destroyed over most of its 200-year history managed to turn […]

Class 1 freight rails: part 1 – historical overview

In the gaseous hot ball of 19th century US rail activity roils the primordial elements of American industry: a technology startling in its potential yet exaggerated in its promise by visionaries and hucksters, transformed into shape by private enterprise with government aid and later controlled and extended by the ambitious and vicious. The atrophying influence […]