Railroads: Subsidized Commuting

Only one U.S. railroad is state-owned: the 115-mile Rutland Railway, which Vermont bought last year to prevent it from dropping its passenger business. The chiefs of many other passenger lines have long called for federal or state aid, and lately they have gained support from more and more influential politicians.

Connecticut's Senator Abraham Ribicoff has proposed creation of a $100 million federal emergency fund to save the nation's failing commuter railroads, the weakest link in the U.S. chain of rails. To bolster the bankrupt New Haven line, whose trustees are seeking to...

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