Business: Fifth Wheel?

When the Transportation Act of 1920 showed Congress favorably inclined to railroad mergers (TIME, Feb. 4, 1924), three Eastern systems—N. Y. Central, Baltimore & Ohio, and Pennsylvania—sat down and attempted to arrange just how they would absorb the rest of the roads in their territory. Unfortunately, everybody wanted the fat and nobody the lean roads. Meanwhile, the Van Sweringens quietly annexed the Nickel Plate, C. & O., Erie, Pere Marquette and Hocking Valley (TIME, Aug. 11, 18, April 6), and became a fourth party at the prospective feast. Now, while the four cannot...

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