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Old 09-11-2019, 06:28 PM
kirkrapine is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 381
Originally Posted by campp View Post
The railroads have dropped employment in all sectors. 70 years ago, the move from steam to diesel took a lot of labor out. Modern brakes have reduced the need for other men to ride along as brakemen. Today they are even using remote controlled switchers in yard situations.

Will the future bring crew-less trains? Probably. Eventually. Right now it's an order of magnitude more difficult than the current driver-less big rigs on the highway. We'll see.
I think the main reason for decline in railway jobs is the decline of the railway industry as such. Airliners, automobiles, Greyhound buses, and long-distance tractor-trailer trucks have taken away a lot of its business. Likewise with streetcars -- where they still exist, they're preserved out of nostalgia (or newly built by visionary environmentalist officials) and are negligible compared to local bus transit, which is, after all, more flexible, as a bus can go anywhere the streets are paved and does not require fixed-guiderail infrastructure. Rail transit does, however, retain the advantage of being much more energy-efficient than rubber-wheeled alternatives.