RAILROADS: Scarlet Woman of Wall Street

As the flag-decked railroad train chugged out of Piermont, N.Y. on May 14, 1851, old Daniel Webster settled down in a rocking chair in the middle of a flatcar, a jug of hard cider close at hand, "to enjoy the fine country." Along with U.S. President Millard Fillmore and 298 others, Webster was making the inaugural run over the New York & Erie's 446-mile track to Dunkirk, N.Y., on Lake Erie, thus linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. To Daniel Webster, the Erie was a "great work of art."

Last week, in its annual report...

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