Fast Freight: Across the U.S. on Super C

The nation's railroads are for perennial labor disputes, failing passenger service and, in the case of giant Penn Central, spectacular bankruptcy. Yet the railroads have become increasingly good at moneymaking service, using new specialized and electronic gadgetry that would baffle Casey Jones. For a closeup view of modern railroading, Associate Keith Johnson rode cab and caboose on the world's fastest freight train, Santa Fe's premium-rate Super C, Chicago to Los Angeles. His log:

8:20 A.M., CHICAGO. "Highball, Gerty, all aboard," comes the word over the cab loudspeaker. Engineer eases the throttle open, and...

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