Across the United States, and across the borders into Canada and Mexico, the railways have got to be one of the biggest and most complex industries in existence today. Because of the complexities and scale, federal and state agencies maintain a foothold in this and all other associated businesses. Aside of the capacity to handle infrastructures and logistics is the motivational requirement to continue applying and enforcing safe railroad operating practices, where applicable. And then there is this.
This vast stretch of land is by now quite familiar with and well-practiced in the philosophies of free enterprise. Over the years, stretching over three centuries, many businesses have grown to become conglomerates. They have grown large enough to branch into all areas, previously not attainable or manageable or even viable from a profit-taking point of view. Private businesses’ interest in and entry into previously state-held entities has also allowed governments to become more streamlined in their own administrative and governance operations.
The matter of safe railroad operating practices is therefore also deferred to those private holdings that choose to invest in railroad infrastructure, administration and development. Large industrial nodes also see fit to have control over their own railroads and tracks in order to have full and efficient control over their transportation (of goods and materials) requirements. But as it is with all other industries, the matter of upholding and practicing safety standards and requirements becomes subject to abuse when left in private hands.
Many private interests, while they have been able to muscle their way into railroad operating, may argue that they do not have the capacity to maintain law and order if you will. Never mind the arguments for and against, fortunately companies and their employees can be taught all that they need to know about railroad safety.