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Re: PC: What if

Date:          Mon, 27 Jul 1998 10:57:33 -0600
To:            penn-central -AT- smellycat.com
Subject:       Re: PC: What if
Reply-to:      Gene.Fusco -AT- Symbios.com
From:          Gene.Fusco -AT- Symbios.com
Reply-to:      penn-central -AT- smellycat.com

	When you saw the operation of the PC mainline across New Jersey or 
the Middle Division around Altoona you could see that a vieable 
operating carrier was trying to crawl out from under the burden of 
branch line and passenger service loss. The fact that this part of 
the PC performed was not due to the Al Perlman's or Stuart Sanders 
mangement of the road, it was the Superintendents, Trainmasters, Road 
Foreman of Engs, Yardmasters and train service personal that just 
keep on going no matter what the boys up stairs did. Also lets not 
forget the mechanical department that kept the trians running.
	If the Penn Central could have hung in there without the New Haven I 
do not know. You can not fault the investment of money away from the 
railroad when the railroad was not even earning the cost of the 
capital needed to invest into it. But you can find fault with what it 
was invested into. Some very bad investments. 
	If the PC had not failed the EL would be around also. It was the PC 
failure to pay its interline accounts that helped to kill off the EL. 
By this time in history the EL most likely would have merged with D&H 
and maybe the LV and B&M. The Lehigh Valley would have been ripped up 
between Buffalo and Waverly the way it is now, but east of Sayre it 
would have survived. Oak Island would have given the EL a better yard 
to serve New York Harbor from. The Erie side and DL side mains could 
have been tied into it through the National Branch. 	With the EL 
competition down the middle of PC I am not so it it would have been 
broken up the way Conrail is being broke up now. CSX could have 
gotten the CNJ and RDG, NYSW as we know it now as a stack train 
carrier would not have happened, it would have been the EL that got 
the stacks out of Chicago. 

We would have had a PC in the east, with its passenger business spun 
off to Amtrak and the state commuter agencies. The branch lines would 
be gone, many dublicate mainline would have been combined, with the 
resulting track adbandonments. But the PC that was left would have 
been a strong carrier with a brite future that most likely would have 
become a good merger partiner for the UP or BNSF.
	Buy the way I think the black with the two worms in love would have 
stayed around. It had nothing in common with the two merger roads, 
and the logo was assocated with the PC.
Bob Stafford

> I state my question again. If PC was here today what do you think their
> history would have been and what would be their situation today. 

My opinion on this is that had PC survived the 70's, we would be looking at
a NS/CSX split up of Penn Central today.  The only difference would be the
loss of black engines and worms, rather than blue and a can opener.

Penn Central + Deregulation = Conrail

The key to the whole mess was the deregulation act.  Had it happened when
PC needed it to happen, it may have survived, even with the bad management.
PC was not allowed to divest itself (abandon) duplicate and low traffic
routes as Conrail was allowed to do.  

PC would have absorbed the smaller NE RR's as their lives ended. Taken the
good parts and dumped the rest.  We would still have Guilford, Metro North,
ConnDot etc...

The real speculation, as a modeller, is what would they have done image-
wise over the past 25 years.  With the current state of "retro" paint
schemes, like the BNSF Orange and Green, it isn't hard to imagine a Tuscan
locomotive with Dulux Gold Lightning Stripes.  Yow!

Gene Fusco        | (970) 223-5100 x9404   Gene.Fusco -AT- Symbios.com   KB0ZMZ
S/W Development   |   Why do I take pictures of trains?
Symbios Inc.      |   Because they're too big to take home.
Fort Collins CO.  |                                                

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