The whole east end is a giant tax deal.
Then there's the across-the-board tax deal on top of that.
Then NS still had the stones to beg NYS for bridge money.
Despite providing less service than ever.
Despite using the east end as a strawman to stifle competition, even though they don't seem to want it, because they couldn't stomach having someone else play hardball where they wanted to play powder-puff (and probably having bought the D&H for the same reason, to strategically wipe out the ability of anyone else to compete in NS territory. There too, 2 years in, and NS isn't moving anything substantially beyond what the drastically retrenched, slash-and-burn Pershing/EHH regime was doing).
And in almost 20 years of talk, never did a d&mn thing about Portage until the state finally kicked in the cash. And probably never would have if the state hadn't.
Sorry, but I'm just not enough of a foamer to look past it all... at the end of the day I still judge a railroad by the same standards I would apply to the operations, actions, and value system of any other business.
Any way you look at it, I don't think anyone could deny that at least one or the other is true: that they've either lied through their teeth the whole time, or completely failed in meeting their stated objectives (if they had in fact actually ever been the "objectives"). Personally, at this point I'll watch NS simply for the purposes of enjoying, recording, or paying homage to history... but if NS filed for Chapter 11 or got bought out tomorrow, I would say "good riddance!" And that's saying something, considering pre-CR split and through the early 2000s I was actually an NS fan (based in part on the tight ship they ran on their own railroad, as well as the belief that they actually intended to substantially follow through on their stated claims and/or objectives in former CR territory). But gradually I realized NS was starting to make a giant sucking sound in the northeast, and meanwhile the tables were getting turned by CSX, especially after John Snow left (of course now EHH is running CSX into the ground just like he did at CP, so NYS might be left with not one but two failed Class I's- but that's a whole other topic, and I don't judge a company one way or the other by whatever misery Harrison brings during his pillaging raids- he is his own independent, mercenary, destructive entity).
But if someone still enjoys watching the couple of remaining west end trains that's all perfectly well and fine, as far as that goes!
I'd love to be proven wrong and at some point find that there is in fact some long-term vision at NS and completion of the bridge is the key to making things happen ... but frankly the fact that NS waited so long to do it, and even then only did it because they got a check from the State, seems to unfortunately indicate pretty loudly that none of this is a priority to anyone in NS upper management.