LABOR: Last-Minute Switch

Could it really happen? There had never been a complete, swiftly paralyzing railroad strike in the U.S. Yet here it was, pounding down the main line at full throttle, brushing aside the minutes, highballing toward the seemingly inevitable collision.

In the stations, travelers read the signs that warned of delays, heard loudspeakers blare warnings that arrivals were not guaranteed. But they bought their tickets as usual. Out of Chicago's Union Station chuffed the Pennsylvania's Washington flyer, Liberty Limited, booked almost solid, as usual. In Newark a commuter electric train pulled out for its dank run through the Hudson River tubes...

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