Just a summary in thew first post .. will upload pictures later on also do contribute The efficiency of the Soviet Railways improved over time and by the 1980s had many performance indicators superior to the United States. Railroads built in the USSR were planned, and in contrast to the US, only a single railroad line would be constructed between major cities. This avoided the situation in the US where two (or sometimes more) railroad companies would construct lines that more or less paralleled each other resulting in wasteful duplication of effort. But most of the rail lines in the USSR were inherited from the Russian Empire which had also avoided such duplication. As a result of having a shorter rail system plus more freight traffic, the USSR had a freight traffic density (in ton-km per km of line) 6-7 times higher than the US. In the US, the mean daily freight car mileage was only 95 km. vs. 227 km. for the USSR. The percent of freight car miles that ran empty was 41% for the US vs. 29% for the USSR. It was claimed that labor productivity rose 4.3 fold between 1955 and 1980, resulting in the USSR being roughly the same as the US (after taking into account that the USSR hauled a greater proportion of non-bulk commodities which were more labor intensive to haulâ€”more switching of cars, etc.). However, the reliability of locomotives in the USSR was much worse than for the US. Their high traffic density often resulted in traffic congestion and delays, especially after an accident blocked the line.