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Great Northern Railway : A History - Ralph W. Hidy

Great Northern Railway

A History

By: Ralph W. Hidy, Muriel E. Hidy, Roy V. Scott (Contribution by), Don L. Hofsommer (Contribution by)


Published: 10th March 2004
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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.

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Introductionp. xiii
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
1856 To 1916
The First Ten Milesp. 2
Frustrated by Financep. 5
The Branch Line Comes Firstp. 5
Main Line Westp. 9
Growing Painsp. 11
Settlers for the Landp. 14
Freight Trafficp. 16
Northern Pacific Interludep. 18
Completing the Main Linep. 20
The St. Vincent Extensionp. 22
Legislation and Litigationp. 25
Conflict in Hard Timesp. 25
Laws and Lawsuitsp. 26
The Associates Gain Controlp. 28
Negotiating a Bond Purchasep. 28
Completing Rail Linksp. 31
Eliminating Potential Competitionp. 32
Tag Ends of a Long-Tailed Kitep. 34
The Manitobap. 36
Men and Organizationp. 36
Construction and Relations with Other Railroadsp. 39
Terminals in the Twin Citiesp. 45
Financial Managementp. 46
Consolidations and Adjustmentsp. 49
The Canadian Pacificp. 49
Strengthening Creditp. 51
Boston Investorsp. 53
From Butte to Buffalop. 54
Systematizing Administrationp. 54
The Long March to Montanap. 56
Eastward to Buffalop. 61
Tensions in Financep. 66
A New Problemp. 66
Dissension, 1887-1889p. 67
On to Puget Soundp. 72
New Dressp. 72
Engineering Challengesp. 74
"Head of the Rake"p. 75
Sterling Bonds of 1890p. 78
Building the Transcontinentalp. 79
Creating an Empirep. 85
Expansion in Minnesotap. 85
Control of the Northern Pacific and the Burlingtonp. 88
Jockeying for Position in the Northwestp. 93
Continuing Skirmishes with the Canadian Pacificp. 96
Developing the Northwestp. 99
Organization and Development Improving and Strengthening Agriculturep. 103
Men and Malletsp. 108
Men and Organizationp. 108
First Years as a Transcontinentalp. 108
Fleshing Outp. 109
Traffic Generation and the Oregon Landsp. 115
Motive Power, Rolling Stock, and the Ratesp. 117
Locals, Limiteds, and Linersp. 121
Expansion and Improvementsp. 121
Of Things Nauticalp. 121
Advertising, Glacier Park, and Rockyp. 124
Express, Mail, and Silkp. 125
Pricing the Servicep. 126
Corporate Structure and Financep. 130
Early Experiencep. 130
Consolidating Propertiesp. 133
Finances of a Maturing Railroadp. 135
"Leading the Band"p. 136
Basic Principlesp. 136
Union-Management Relations, 1883-1893p. 137
The ARU Strike and Its Aftermathp. 139
Toward Parity with Competitors, 1900-1916p. 143
1916 To 1970
Introductionp. 148
World War I and the USRAp. 148
The Heritagep. 148
The GN under Federal Controlp. 151
Return to Private Operationp. 152
Of Good News and Badp. 155
Preparing for Controlp. 155
Frustrations and Realitiesp. 157
Fighting Recessionp. 158
Resuming Course--with a Differencep. 159
Polishing the Operationp. 162
Upgrading Plant and Equipmentp. 162
Reducing Costsp. 165
Conquering the Cascadesp. 166
Building Freight Trafficp. 171
Passenger Business and Changep. 172
The St. Paul Union Depotp. 173
Highway Competitionp. 174
Upgrading Transcontinental Travelp. 178
Advertising and Promotionp. 181
Expansion and Developmentp. 182
More Branch Linesp. 182
Lure of Californiap. 184
Frustrations in Colonizingp. 187
Agricultural Diversification and Irrigationp. 188
Northern Montana: Special Problemsp. 190
An Attempted Mergerp. 191
Corporate Healthp. 195
Growth in Funded Debtp. 195
Performancep. 198
The Tangled Ways of Financep. 199
Setting the Coursep. 199
Financial Managementp. 200
Over the Hurdlep. 203
Controlling Expensep. 205
Traffic and Profits in Adversityp. 207
The Passenger Departmentp. 208
Truck Competitionp. 210
Developmental Programs and Federal Stimulantsp. 213
Survivalp. 215
The Pressures of War--Againp. 216
Gavin's Preparationsp. 216
Mobilizationp. 218
Cooperation under Regulationp. 220
Performance and Financial Policyp. 226
Labor-Management Relations in Depression and Warp. 230
Cooperation in Hard Timesp. 230
War and Prosperityp. 232
Prosperity Under Stressp. 238
Expectations and Realitiesp. 238
Maximizing Efficiencyp. 240
The Operating and Financial Recordp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780816644292
ISBN-10: 0816644292
Series: Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 10th March 2004
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 27.3  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 1.17