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Re: PC: What if

One of the most interesting things about the PC failure is that is what
finally got peoples' (politicians and regulators) attention to the plight of
northeastern railroads. We've discussed state agencies picking up costs for
commuter lines, Amtrak taking over passenger service, abandonment of little-
used branchlines, and relaxation of outmoded union work rules. I think most of
us agree those changes allowed Conrail to flourish. If PC had had the same
opportunity, it may have survived. Closer auditing of the books and the normal
pace of change in industry would have resulted in senior management changes
and streamlining of operations over time. The biggest problem PC faced was
customer loyalty due to the failure to pre-plan the merger of operations,
resulting in the famous lost cars, etc. PC was working to fix this.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that Conrail and Amtrak both had very rocky
beginnings and, some 25 years later, Amtrak still relies on substantial
government subsidies. PC didn't have any of the benefits Contrail and Amtrak

Here's one for the thinking caps:  what if BN had failed and Conrail was a
northwestern line, resulting in the changed regulatory environment that
allowed PC to prosper, absorbing CSX or NS, instead of the other way around?


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