RAILROADS: Conrail to the Rescue

Grand plans for reorganizing the ailing railroads of the U.S. Northeast sometimes seem to come along more regularly than the trains that run on them. But the one that emerged from Washington last week could well become a reality. Drafted by the U.S. Railway Association, a federal agency created last January by the Regional Rail Reorganization Act, it would perform costly and radical surgery on the deteriorating rail system that stretches over 17 states in the Northeast and Midwest.

Faster Service. The Railway Association promises that its long-awaited plan would transform what it calls "a transportation disaster unparalleled in the nation's...

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