INDUSTRY: The Railroad That Can

Railroads are built for men who invest their money and expect to get a fair percentage on the same.

To suggest that William Vanderbilt's words of 1882 have any meaning today seems like gallows humor. The Interstate Commerce Commission reports that five of the nation's 69 major railroads are broke and another 17 are near bankruptcy. Yet among this snarled wreckage, some railroads are making money. None is more profitable than the Norfolk and Western, an operator of freight and commuter lines, mostly in the East, that has $728 million in revenues.

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