RAILROADS: Early Christmas

U.S. railroads last week got a $1,000,-000,000 Christmas present from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The present: a 17.6% increase in freight rates, effective Jan. 1.

The increase, which replaced the temporary 6½% boost the roads got from ICC last June, was almost as much as the railroads had asked for in April. They had wanted a general 19.6% rate raise, enough to increase their annual revenues by $1 billion.' Since then the estimates of next year's freight traffic had increased. Now the railroads expect to gross the $1 billion with the 17.6% increase. If traffic holds up, and costs remain...

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