Joe’s Rail Transport History Course

RTE 301   “Railroad Industry Overview, Economics, and Regulation”

 See the Syllabus for Fall 2013 Section of this course.

This course will focus on the relationship between the rail industry and its customers and competitors.  Taking a rather global and comparative approach, we will review the Political, Regulatory, and Economic environments of the current important industry participants.

Since the best explanation for any situation is a study of past events leading to this situation,  we will often be using tricks and methods from the field of history in this course. In many ways, this study will be a historical introduction to the rail industry. Along the way we will be tracking the emergence, growth, consolidation, and demise of many participants in the industry.  To do this we will be reading financial reports, history books, industry journals, and we will learn to do some entry level financial and economic analysis.  Also,  we will be evaluating some of the most important innovations that have shaped the industry and the way transportation is conducted on a global scale.   Once you see how new ideas have shaped the industry, you will have the opportunity to do a professional feasibility study on an innovation of your own devising. Otherwise you may also opt to conduct formal research into an earlier innovation, research that you will then use to inform a research paper for this course.  All Aboard!

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