I would like to add to the previous, FAILED MANAGEMENT.
The railroad failed to put sufficient funds back into the physical plant.
This resulted in roadbed, tracks, equipement etc all falling into the catagory of "deferred maintenance". This resulted in major increases in
operating costs in handling through freight, the bread and butter of any
The New York Central was not perfect but under Pearlman, a large amount
of funds were put into the physical plant making improvements that paid
huge dividends in savings of operating costs. The New York Central had
a modern two track railroad all controled from central locations for the
most part while the Pennsylvania had a four track railroad with towers
all over the place, most of them manned 24/7. The PRR also allowed their
physical plant to deteriorate to a point where the yards especially were
literally falling apart. Freight trains were outlawing all over the place and
this resulted in delayed delivery of freight to customers and connections
and a huge increase in operating costs as additional crews were called for
the same train. Locomotives were also tied up on these outlawed trains
when they were needed for other trains. One big mess, I was there.
Item, the former NYC West Shore under Penn Central was allowed to go
downhill to a point where over half of the line was under 10 MPH slow
orders. This was the main freight line from the south to New England and
was a main east/west link out of Northern New Jersey as well.
Passenger trains, yes they lost a fortune but Penn Central did not help
their cause one least bit. Pearlman remarked on the New York Central
that they did not want the passenger trains but the ones that they were
forced to operate, they would operate well and they did just that. What
remained of the "great steel fleet" was clean, well maintained and on time
for the most part. Penn Central took over, told the PO that they did not
want the mail, result on the former New Haven Railroad was that most of
the RPO cars came off the first week after the takeover. The result of this
was that trains that carried huge amounts of mail remained with a single
unit and one coach. Needless to say, these trains did not last very long
after that. Penn Central intentionally downgraded many trains just to show as much loss as possible to them. Again, I was there and witnessed
all of this stuff.