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PC: Thoughts on title of New Penn Central Book

Hi all---*warning* editorial content to follow :)

I find the title of the new PC book to be partly questionable. While the PRR-NYC merger was the largest (to my knowledge) at that time and is rightly referred to as a "colussus", it was by no means a the "Pioneer" of mergers. The Erie + Lackawanna deal had gone down several years before, and the SAL + ACL was done a year prior to PC. I suppose one could argue it was the first mega-merger, setting the table for NP+CBQ+GN+SPS=BN in 1970 and the rush of mega/ultra-mergers of the 1980s and 1990s, but even so there were several "functioning" large roads already. C&O+B&O+WM was one road de facto, if not de jure. The Hill Lines functioned largely as a unit and not so much as competitors for years before the merger as well, from my understanding. 

I think you could make a better argument for the SAL+ACL merger being the "pioneer" in large-scale mergers, especially considering that the combined entity controlled the L&N, Clinchfield, AWP, and Georgia RR as well, largely blanketing the entire Southeast and nearly completely controlling Florida. SAL+ACL was also a competitor/parallel merger, not an end-to-end extension merger, such as BN adding the Frisco was. 

Was PC the biggest for its day? Sure. I think that when using the "pioneer" tag, though, one must say that Seaboard Coast Line was the first mega-merger, given the route-mile and area the combined entity controlled. 

What do you guys think? Was PC the pioneer in 1968, or was the Land of Kudzu first off the mark in 1967? 

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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