Railroads: Rumble in the West

The Western Pacific is a short (1,188 miles) railroad whose main line runs from Salt Lake City to the Coast, but its tracks cover some coveted ground. Last week, in a conference before the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, two of the nation's biggest and richest railroads staked out their claims to take over the Western. The Southern Pacific started to do so four months ago, after acquiring 10% of Western's stock; it wants to merge the Western system into its own to get the benefit of new business while eliminating duplicating facilities.

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, which countered...

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