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PC: RE: ***One more book and comment, about the PC Demise...
- Subject: PC: RE: ***One more book and comment, about the PC Demise...
- From: "Armstrong, John A" <ArmstronJA@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 11:47:18 -0400
- Content-return: allowed
This makes the new CSX and the new NS seem like they are quite well run! How short the memeory is.
> ***Gotta add my two cents...
> Last year I added "Wreck of the Colossus" to my "Demise of the PC"
> bookshelf. A good work, due to looking back with more data, a neutral party
> ( the author = no ties, non-RR ).
> Gratefully, he gores back to the early history and developments of both once
> great RR's, so the patterns of railroadings' slip downward are revealed.
> Government partiality to other forms of transport, forced passenger service
> and the strait-jacket of inflexible freight rates were effecting their
> damage. Sorry, too long ago to name the author, or even locate the
> And, yes, there were many financial "shenanigans", mostly on the PRR side.
> This book was described fully on Our PRR-FAX List months ago, and is in Our
> Archives. ( PRR -AT- egroups.com).
> As for the PC mismanagement issue, I must agree to a large extent with Larry
> ( and Vic, on our lists..). Not to everything, and not to all of the
> conclusions, but I do know what we all witnessed.
> After the merger, an easy dozen of we younger PRR folks quit the PC. While
> happily working for another RR, we still witnessed PC events closely. Sad,
> but so much had changed for the worse that changing jobs, even with loosing
> seniority and vacation time, etc. was called for. No regrets.
> Operations became very disorganized. Trains might outlaw ( run over the
> Hours of Service Law ) before leaving their initial terminals ! This was
> definitely NOT the PRR anymore !
> Similar reports came in from the NYC side, also. Seemed like it all just
> melted down faster than it had before.... The existing problems just became
> I refer to local operations that we could see daily. The upper level of
> managers in HQ Philly were typically and often lied to, "everything is fine
> and on time", so they may not have had any clue to the real operations.
> Forwarded reports contained works of fiction, for the most part.
> Most of the folks that I knew in Philly were very pleased working for both
> the PC and CR ! Working in the 'ivory tower' part of a RR is far different
> from the ground operations, for sure !
> This doctored report PC practice continued into ConRail, as I witnessed
> first hand. Too many sad stories to go into. But we had 80% turnover of line
> managers, I think that was a "clue" that something was seriously amiss.
> Imagine during the manager "vacuum" ( no one left...) having nice and
> competent fellows come down from somewhere way way up on the DL&W, or the
> LV, where they ran their local terminals safely and efficiently.
> With no time to qualify, no "introduction", they were being thrown into the
> sprawling (PRR) Waverly Yard overnight, and being told to "straighten it all
> out". NOW ! hahhahahha.
> A month was a long time for these new bosses.... one lasted two before the
> ulcers kicked in...then, "NEXT !!!".
> Wasting money ( much of it taxpayers' dollars, including my own.....) big
> time was common. Then the sloppy operating practices ( hustle, hurry up...)
> began to backfire as employees became injured and even killed in the big
> rush at Oak Island Yard ( More cars, more...).
> That death of someone that I worked with, started me writing about the
> events. Many of my documented rail tales ( train numbers, dates, times,
> locations...) were published in Rails Northeast under my Penn Name, Red
> These fax got through to Spence, but he was advised that they were all BS.
> Until someone bothered to check, and each one was verified as true..... to
> every detail..... then there was a little change, but very little....
> Improvement suggestions that we offered back then (1976) were spurned
> harshly by former PC managers, as one told me, "WE know how to do this, as>
> We Ran It All Before"...
> ........."...into the ground....", I added, jadedly..........
> About five years later, many of our ideas were implemented ! By others who
> came later, and who were hailed as foresighted ! Hmmmm....
> A very sad time for all. It did turn sweeter years later with a different
> management team that rescued early ConRail and turned it around into the
> Conrail that became very successful in regard to its own goals. ( a slower
> service, but a guaranteed service ).
> And the stock appreciation did not hurt, either.....
> and a better color scheme !?!
> What a time to have experienced ! Never dull......
> But what a cost in human lives, careers, families, etc......
> Thx, Bill Strassner*-*
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