In the 1920s, the Van Sweringen brothers began working towards a big merger of several midwestern and northeastern railroads to include the Nickel Plate, Erie, Chesapeake and Ohio, Pere Marquette and Hocking Valley. They made a few attempts to formally merge all five systems into one railroad, however, the ICC ultimately objected to merger; the ICC only allowed the C&O to merge with the Pere Marquette. A few questions: What would have happened if these railroads had won approval from ICC to merge? What would N&W have done considering they ended up with the Nickel Plate in the 1960s? Would this have prevented to Erie's bankruptcies in 1938 and 1972? Would the merged system end up closing much of the parallel Erie west of Hornell or Youngstown in favor of using the Nickel Plate? Would the merged system have survived the depression? How would the B&O, PRR and NYC handle such a merger and would one or more of these merge with N&W? Would the D&H be ultimately brought into the merged system at a later date?