RAILROADS: Northeast Deadline

Nothing, it seems, can solve the financial woes of railroads in the Northeast. Six lines* that control half the trackage in the 15-state area are operating in bankruptcy and do not have to pay taxes or meet interest or amortization payments on mortgage loans. Even so, they have continued to lose money at a staggering rate—$222 million for the Penn Central alone last year. The lines have survived only by deferring maintenance that they know is essential, a course that can logically end only in the lines' physically falling apart. Last week...

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