Railroads: Return Engagement

Switching from tirades to togetherness with all the abruptness of young lovers making up a quarrel, the Pennsylvania Railroad, biggest in the nation, and the third-ranking New York Central* last week said that they had decided to ask the Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to merge. If the deal goes through, it will be among the largest mergers in history. The resulting giant would tower far above all other U.S. railroads in assets ($4.2 billion), trackage (20,372 miles from Boston to St. Louis) —and debts ($1.3 billion).

The merger announcement obliged Central President Alfred E. Perlman to swallow a large mouthful...

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