Plumb Plan

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PLUMB PLAN, a system of public ownership of railroads to replace the Railway Administration after World War I, proposed by Glenn E. Plumb, counsel for the organized railway employees, and considered in Congress in 1919 as the Sims Bill. It called for the government to purchase railroad properties at fair values, subject to judicial review. A quasi-public corporation representing the government, operators, and classified employees would then operate the railroads. Improvements would be financed by federal and local funds, with profits used to retire the public bonds, reduce rates, and increase railway wages. The bill failed, and in December, President Woodrow Wilson called for the return of railroads to private operation.


Kerr, K. Austin. American Railroad Politics, 1914–1920: Rates, Wages, and Efficiency. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968.

Plumb, Glenn E., and William G. Roylance. Industrial Democracy: A Plan for Its Achievement. New York: B. W. Huebsch, 1923.

Martin P.Claussen/a. r.

See alsoGovernment Ownership ; Railroad Administration, U.S. ; Railroad Mediation Acts ; Railroads ; World War I, Economic Mobilization for .