Corporations: City in the Sky

As they turn their backs on the job of transporting people, the managers of U.S. railroads are becoming increasingly enticed by the potential riches of real estate development. The valuable land beside their tracks or the air rights above them often present more beguiling opportunities for profits than running trains. Union Pacific is building apartments near Los Angeles and a hotel in Las Vegas. Penn Central, which has long earned a fat income from its holdings in midtown Manhattan, recently claimed front rank among builders of housing (9,000 units in 1969).

Last...