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Re: PC: Another Penn Central Book.

Gary Farmer wrote ..

>>I disagree with Saunders, Perlman & Bevan being the cause of the problem. 
>my opinion, they are easy scapegoats. I put PC's failure was squarely on 
>shoulders of the goverment and the punitive rail policies of the era (not
>solely, but it was the biggest factor).

I absolutley agree with you Gary, that government rail policy was perhaps 
the biggest cause of PC's failure.  Had the post-Staggers climate existed in 
the 1950s or 1960s, the whole northeastern scene would have been different. 
Regulation, forced passenger losse due to government subsidies to airports 
and highways, unworkable labor deals, all of which the government had its 
fingers in, were all factors in bringing PC down.

You must also consider economic factors such as the migration of industry 
out of the northeast and midwest to the Sunbelt, especially the right to 
work states and the beginning stages of the "I want it now" demand for 
consumer goods".  Here is where the railroads added self inflicted wounds to 
the deep cuts brought on by the government's rail policy.

BUT, its not fair to just write off Stu, Al and Diamond Dave as scapegoats.  
All were guilty of doing their fair share of damage instead of damage 
control.  There is a line I remember about Saunders, can't cite the source 
(not good for a librarian!) that went like this....the difference between an 
amateur and a pro is that a pro will walk away from a deal that is not a 
good one.  Saunders wanted the merger too badly to see it wasn't a good 
deal....the job for life deal with labor, accepting the New Haven, giving in 
to the demands of the competing roads for traffic protection.  How did such 
a good actor pick such a bad role...or something like that.   Then consider 
that both Stu and Dave lied to their board of directors, their shareholders, 
their bankers...hummmm.  Oh yeah, PC's Big 3 shared the guilt but yes, may 
have been forced into doing those things by a government that was unwilling 
or unable to see the problem.

Sorry for the run on but this is just one of those topics that is 
fascinating to debate and wonder what if.....

Steve Hipes
Columbus, Ohio

partially agree with you Gary in that PC's Big 3 (Stu, Al and Diamond Dave)

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