Transportation: Rescue on the Rails

The Interstate Commerce Commission last week made a belated but decisive move to revitalize the faltering railroads of the Eastern U.S. By authorizing the profitable Chesapeake & Ohio to acquire control of the ailing Baltimore & Ohio, the commission opened the way toward an ultimate merger of these two big lines. This step, in time, could spur a consolidation of the nation's oversupply of competing independent railroads into a few strong regional groupings.

The ICC's 8-to-3 decision cheered most other Eastern railroad chiefs, who are pushing merger schemes of their own, all designed to cut costs by eliminating overlapping lines,...

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