Re: Going Bananas ...

Tim O'Connor

The pre-eminence of the Pennsy, both its operating and mechanical
departments, peaked early in the 20th century and rapidly declined
thereafter owing to arrogance and bad management, with the
post-World-War-I squandering of capital on its ill-conceived
electrification project hastening its eventual demise.
Oh that's just silly. The SP had "ill-conceived elecrification"
projects, and built large new passenger terminals long after the
decline in passenger traffic was well under way. I agree the PRR
was arrogant, but so were most other railroads -- pride and tunnel
vision were widespread traits of railroad management.

The PRR, NYC, B&O, NH, B&M, Erie, Lackawanna, LV -- ALL of them
declined precipitously following WWII. And all of the western roads
thrived in the 20 years after WWII. Gee, could it have something to
do with the population explosion in the west, and the shifting of
industry to wide open spaces where longer hauls were the norm? If it
hadn't been for Powder River coal and trade with Asia, we'd have
had a western version of the pre-Conrail meltdown by now...

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