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PC: First Choice

     I can honestly say I am a PC fan first and foremost.  I think several
factors enter into making a decision, but mainly I think it has to do with what
railroad you're first exposed to as a young child.  In a letter to Railfan and
Railroad commenting on their PC photo in the August issue, I relayed to them a
story of my grandfather taking me to watch trains in Westfield, NY along what
was then the PC main.  (hardly saw any Norfolk and Western's on the parallel
track).  I'm 28 years old now, and that was when I was three or four years old. 
I am sure the constant flow of the black and white PC engines and PC green
cabooses set into my young mind and stayed with me.
My dad was always partial to the New York Central and Pennsylvania....roads he
remembers as a kid.  In fact, on a model railroad layout we had when I was a kid
he modeled the Pennsylvania -- but I kept saving my change and buying PC
equipment to put on the table -- he used to say "you can't have this Penn
Central stuff on a Pennsylvania layout!"  Today I have a little daughter, so I
am not banking on her being a railfan -- but if she is someday she'll probably
want to pollute my future PC layout with CSX and NS stuff!!
     Plus -- it's is kind of cool and different to like a railroad that the rest
of the nation does not hold in regards too highly...kind of the underdog thing
again.  Anyone can like the Sante Fe or CSX.  That's why I like Braniff airlines
and the New Orleans Saints too I think...(maybe I am too hard on myself!).
I think it must have been tough for true fans of the Pennsy and the NYC to get
"into" the PC.  The only way I could relate  would be merging Pepsi and Coke
today!!  Can you imagine? Two harsh competitors suddenly brought together.  As a
Coke drinker I'd be offended.  I guess I look at the PC as it's own entity and
do not ever think about the two roads that went into it.  Given the NS and CSX
split of Conrail though -- we're almost back to the pre-Penn Central days. 
Since we've come full circle from 1968 -- I guess we're lucky the PC even
existed.  Who would have thought 30 years later we'd be back to the NYC and
Pennsy essentially in terms of routes.

One more interesting note...in exploring other railfan sites the Rock Island
technical society has their own "what if" discussion and someone actually posted
there that they think the "Rock" would have merged with Penn Central if both
survived to form "Rock Central."  Kinda funny...

Bill Cameron

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