On the Southern Crescent Rolling Toward Summer

With long, lordly wo-o-ofs, cheery B-flat chirps and an occasional deep commanding harrumph, the glistening silver serpent curls through a land its ancestors helped define. It may not inhabit the terrain much longer. Like the Furbish lousewort and the snail darter, the Southern Crescent is an endangered species. The aging Crescent is the nation's last lavish, privately run, long-haul passenger train. But its owner, the highly profitable and efficient Southern Railway System, claims to have lost $6.7 million last year on the Crescent's Washington-New Orleans run.

The railroad has petitioned the Interstate Commerce...

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