The railroads experienced both enormous growth and enormous government intervention. Land was closed off from settlement, causing farmers to oppose the privileged railroads. Markets were skewed. Waste and inefficiencies were high. Graft and corruption were rampant. Only the Great Northern by James Hill was built with private monies. It became the of the few transcontinental railroads not to go bankrupt.
Lecture 2 of 13 presented in Fall of 1986 at the New York Polytechnic University.
The full series: