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The Economic Bailout that Never Came- PennCentral

January 3, 2009

For many hardworking people of the Northeastern US, it was the economic bailout that never came. The Penn Central was – until very recently – the largest corporate bankruptcy in history. To fully appreciate the story and it’s staggering effect on railroad and corporate history, listen from the perspective of the average worker. This average worker doesn’t work behind a desk (and if he does, it’s in a caboose) he works in the crumbling infrastructure that was the deadly hallmark of differed maintenance. The PC had to deal with more than 200 derailments a month, more than 3,000 miles of very poorly maintained track, 300 MILES of damaged freight cars, and more than two dozen derelict maintenance facilities that are inefficient and dangerous. Every attempt to modernize their operations to at the very least make them save to work around were halted due to massive debt. Unlike Lehman brothers and all the modern “paper pushing” companies today, you can see, hear and appreciate the consequences of differed maintenance.
Penn central train wreck

This isn’t the way to run a railroad. Watch the 1974 film (featuring non-stop Railroad action) that was a helpless plea to congress for funding.

Penn central caboose

In 1976, congress formed the Consolidated Rail Corporation or CONRail, which went public in the 1980’s and was run so well that it was merged into the NS & CSX, roughly split in half.

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