Business & Finance: State of Rails

Last week railroad stocks sold down to a new low since April 1933. January earnings were thoroughly depressing. Though gross revenues were up slightly, net operating income of the first 51 roads to report showed a drop of 22%. That was a pronounced extension of a trend that set in during 1934 when the 147 Class I carriers reported a gain of nearly 6% in gross revenues, but a decrease of 2½% in net. Plainly, the U. S. Railroad System was boxed in its race against rising costs.

As a whole the U. S. railroads failed to earn...

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