"Making trains run on time" is a commonly used phrase synonymous with centralized efficiency, the kind imposed top down on a political system or organization. The expression served as a justification for Italian fascism, one of whose putative virtues was its ability to bring about results. However, historian Victoria de Grazia commented: "The story that Mussolini made the trains run on time arose in the late 20's and gained credence abroad mainly because of well-heeled British tourists who considered the hopelessly refractory Italians governable only by dictatorial means." Mussolini's government fostered the idea by constructing impressive central stations and improving the rail lines between Rome and Milan to accelerate the trips of business people, government officials, and tourists. Nonetheless, his regime's efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful when he terminated, for political reasons, the railway workers' union that had made these advancements and replaced its members with the veterans of military campaigns. Work-related accidents skyrocketed. Trains bypassed old stations and commuters. By the time Italy 264entered World War II, the operating record of its State Railroad Corporation had fallen into disrepute (DeGrazia, 1994: 21).