Second Round

The knock at the door of the Interstate Commerce Commission sounded familiar. It sounded like the urgent rap of a man who knew his rights and wanted them fulfilled. It was the railroads again. Last year they had come seeking a 20% rate increase. They got 17.6%—a $1 billion boost in their annual revenues.

Last week, the railroads said they needed another billion in the form of an additional 16% average increase (25% for the eastern railroads, 15% for the southern and western territories); the first billion was all spent on higher wage and material costs. As an example of...

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