In its struggle to regain viability, Penn Central faces the problems of regulatory control and union contracts. Additional problems, not as well known, arise from the fact that Penn Central, as an operating entity, is locked into a national railroad system that does not perform as a real system. The Penn Central interchanges freight cars with 70 other major railroads and joins with them in providing through service nationwide, but it does so under conditions that would not be tolerated if there were any choice. The trouble is that an effective system depends upon the concurrance of the railroads that comprise it and such concurrances are difficult to come by. The railroads must function as a system, one railroad cannot function in isolation from others. The pricing of railroad freight traffic service is often done by regions, but when a general rate increase in involved, all railroads try to join in the application. Right now, one railroad refuses to apply for a modest increase to offset wage increases, with the result that there is no hope for any of the roads in that region and probably in the nation. If instead of being obliged to return cars made empty to their owning lines, the Penn Central could make full use of them for local loadings, greater efficiency would be the result. Railroads are now in a disagreement of the division of interline revenues. Individual railroads fight each other on every possible front. They protest competitors' mergers. Perhaps the time has come for the private ownership to consider an organizational structure to preside over the different operating units, possibly along the lines of AT&T or a holding company.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This appeared in the New York Times, Volume CXXII, No. 42-071.
  • Corporate Authors:

    New York Times Company

    229 West 43rd Street
    New York, NY  United States  10036
  • Authors:
    • Langdon Jr, J
  • Publication Date: 1973-4-1

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00041617
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: New York Times Company
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 15 1974 12:00AM