- Short-line railroad
:"Short Line is also one of the four railroads in the popular
board gameMonopoly, probably named after the Shore Fast Line, an interurban streetcarline."A short line is an independent railroad companythat operates over a relatively short distance. Short lines generally exist for one of three reasons: to link two industries requiring rail freight together (for example, a gypsummine and a wall boardfactory, or a coal mineand a power plant); to interchange revenue traffic with other, usually larger, railroads; or to operate a touristpassenger train service. Often, short lines exist for all three of these reasons. Because of their small size and generally low revenues, the great majority of short line railroads in United Statesare classified by the American Association of Railroadsas Class III. In Canada, Transport Canadaclassifies short line railroads as Class II.
In the beginning of the railroad age, nearly all railway lines were short lines, locally chartered, financed and operated; as the railroad industry matured, local lines were merged or acquired to create longer mainline railroads.
1980in the USA and 1990in Canada, many short lines have been established when larger railroad companies sold off or abandoned low-profit portions of their trackage. Short line operators typically have lower labor, overhead and regulatory costs than Class I railroads and therefore are often able to operate profitable lines that lost money for their original owners.fact|date= April 2008
There are three kinds of short lines in the United States: handling, switch, and ISS (Interline Settlement System).
* Handling short lines exist only to move cars along their tracks for larger railroads. They are not listed in the route on a railcar's waybill. Handling short lines may have compensation agreements with the larger railroads they serve that do not depend on per car rates.
* Switch short lines are similar to handling short lines except that they are listed on a railcar's route, and they collect a fee for each car they move on their tracks.
* ISS short lines operate the same as Class I and II railroads. They are included in the routes of railcars. Also, they serve as the billing railroads for loads that originate on their lines. For loads not originating on their lines, ISS short lines still collect a portion of the freight rate.
List of United States railroads
List of Canadian railroads
List of Mexican railroads
* [http://www.aslrra.org/ American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association]
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