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Thread: Penn Central's last days

  1. #1
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    Default Penn Central's last days

    Here is an eye-opening video of the Penn Central system in it's last days:

    Having witnessed the success stories of the N & W and Southern Railway, this video was quite a shock to me personally. But many agree that the disastrous seeds were sown before the merger of Pennsylvania RR and NYCentral.
    Creator of the LBRC Railway: it's not easy running a railroad

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    The interesting and/or amazing part I noticed was that most people interviewed were aware of the issues and wanted to make the repairs in order to make the railroad competitive again. Sad either way you look at it.


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    The Pennsylvania and the New York Central merger had been studied for ten years before the actual merger. The very idea that two huge railroads with deferred maintenance and incompatible signal and computer systems could be combined was ridiculous. Not only was it approved by the ICC but at the last minute the ICC made them include the New Haven in the merger. Yeah, let us put together a super sized railroad with deferred maintenance! That should work.

    Not only that but Penn Central was not just a railroad. PC was a conglomerate corporation that also invested in real estate, pipelines and other ventures. The railroad was just a division.

    This worked out well. In two years they entered bankruptcy and six years later were taken over by the government in the creation of Conrail.

    It's very possible that if the money spent on PC's non-railroad ventures had been spent on repairing the railroad itself the merger could have been successful.

    “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” — Thomas Henry Huxley

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