The Economics of Railroad Safety

  • Ian┬áSavage

Part of the Transportation Research, Economics and Policy book series (TRES)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Ian Savage
    Pages 1-9
  3. Ian Savage
    Pages 11-19
  4. Ian Savage
    Pages 21-28
  5. Ian Savage
    Pages 29-32
  6. Ian Savage
    Pages 33-42
  7. Ian Savage
    Pages 43-46
  8. Ian Savage
    Pages 59-72
  9. Ian Savage
    Pages 73-78
  10. Ian Savage
    Pages 79-92
  11. Ian Savage
    Pages 99-103
  12. Ian Savage
    Pages 105-112
  13. Ian Savage
    Pages 113-114
  14. Ian Savage
    Pages 115-121
  15. Ian Savage
    Pages 123-129
  16. Ian Savage
    Pages 131-138
  17. Ian Savage
    Pages 139-148
  18. Ian Savage
    Pages 149-164
  19. Ian Savage
    Pages 165-195
  20. Ian Savage
    Pages 197-209
  21. Back Matter
    Pages 211-232

About this book


The American public has a fascination with railroad wrecks that goes back a long way. One hundred years ago, staged railroad accidents were popular events. At the Iowa State fair in 1896, 89,000 people paid $20 each, at current prices, to see two trains, throttles wide open, collide with each other. "Head-on Joe" Connolly made a business out of "cornfield meets" holding seventy-three events in thirty-six years. Picture books of train wrecks do good business presumably because a train wreck can guarantee a spectacular destruction of property without the messy loss of life associated with aircraft accidents. A "train wreck" has also entered the popular vocabulary in a most unusual way. When political manoeuvering leads to failure to pass the federal budget, and a shutdown is likely of government services, this is widely called a "train wreck. " In business and team sports, bumbling and lack of coordination leading to a spectacular and public failure to perform is also called "causing a train wreck. " A person or organization who is disorganized may be labelled a "train wreck. " It is therefore not surprising that the public perception of the safety of railroads centers on images of twisted metal and burning tank cars, and a general feeling that these events occur quite often. After a series of railroad accidents, such as occurred in the winter of 1996 or the summer of 1997, there are inevitable calls that government "should do something.


Industrial Organization economic theory economics law and economics public policy regulation transportation

Authors and affiliations

  • Ian┬áSavage
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and the Transportation CenterNorthwestern UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-7548-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-5571-1
  • Series Print ISSN 1572-4387
  • Buy this book on publisher's site