Railroads: The Northern Combine

When the U.S. Supreme Court approved consolidation of the Pennsylvania and New York Central Railroads last January, it opened a new right of way for railroad mergers on a grand scale. National policy, the court noted, requires that railroads be allowed to unite into a "limited number of systems." In accord with the Supreme Court's doctrine, a special three-judge Federal District Court in Washington last week flashed a long-awaited green light for a merger that would create the nation's longest railroad.

Delays Endured. The merger would combine the 8,282-mile Great Northern Railway, the 6,747-mile Northern Pacific, the 8,538-mile Chicago, Burlington...

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