The trailer-on-flat-car, or TOFC, concept actually predates the trucking industry. For a brief period in the 1800s, Long Island farmers could ship their loaded wagons to market on a local railroad. The modern use of railroads to ship loaded trailers began on the Chicago Great Western Railroad (the "Corn Belt Route") in 1935 and became widespread in the 1950s under the leadership of a former GM executive named Eugene Ryan and early supporters that included the Pennsy, New Haven, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Burlington, and Southern Pacific railroads.
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