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Re: PC: It was a bad move anyway...
- Subject: Re: PC: It was a bad move anyway...
- From: Walter Turner <lnrr@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 10:42:07 -0400 (EDT)
> Who was Perlman?
He ran NYC before the PC merger, and ran Penn Central until shortly before
the bankruptcy. (The chairman was from PRR.)
He is generally credited with being a progressive railroad manager. I think
he was listed as one of Trains' 10 ten railroaders of the century.
He is faulted for taking part in the green team/red team rivalries at PC,
but he gets a lot of unfair blame in other areas. The PC failure ruined a
lot of reputations, even there was no way the merger could have worked in
the regulatory climate of that era.
NYC and PRR were in bad shape and each hoped mergers were a solution. The
government stopped all of the previous attempts (including PRR/NW and
NYC/Chessie) leaving Penn Central (the last choice) as the only option.
It's amazing that Penn Central was able to hold on as long as it did. The
losses caused by being forced to take over the New Haven alone were
Some of the top managers at Penn Central (especially Bevan) engaged in some
financial shenanigans, but these had very little to do with the ultimate
demise of the PC. There are some accounts written just after the failure
that, without the perspective that modern accounts have, incorrectly cite
mismanagement as the prime cause of the failure.
The Penn Central was losing so much money so rapidly that under 1968
conditions it was impossible for it to survive. I can't imagine any other
executives keeping the railroad afloat for any significantly longer period.
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