Trains Magazine 1962 February Broadway Limited
Trains Magazine 1962 February Broadway Limited

Trains Magazine 1962 February Broadway Limited

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Trains Magazine 1962 February Broadway Limited
Trains Magazine 1962 February
Railroad news photos
steam news photos
Broadway Limited
Week end in the Rockies
Q and A about Autotrain
Experience as a fireman 2
Half a century at Herdon

SENSATIONAL journalism is not our bent, so we were obliged to take issue recently with a reader, newly employed by Santa Fe, who felt that we've been painting an unnecessarily black picture of the industry in these columns. Quite naturally impressed by the Atchison's plant and vigor, he felt that it would be proper for us to accent the positive and eliminate the negative. It struck us that a few questions and answers might clarify the railroad scene as we enter 1962. For instance:
Is railroading in trouble or actually on the brink of bankruptcy?
Somewhere in between. Last year the railroads' rate of return on net investment (which has been sliding without respite since 1955) was 1.97 per cent-not only their poorest performance since 1938 but only a hair better than the 1931-1935 depression years' average of 1.94 per cent. No other major industry earns so little on its property.
But doesn't regional performance vary widely?
Yes. But the individual trends remain the same. Also, though there are more than 100 class 1 railroads with revenues of 4 million dollars a year or more, all are interdependent members through freight-car interchange of an industry doing a 48-state-wide business. It is surely unrealistic to assume that Government would nationalize on a piecemeal basis should the roads in the East collapse, say, even though those in the West retained their solvency. Publicly owned CN and privately owned CP do coexist in Canada but scarcely to the advantage of either. Anyway, the regional rates of return on investment are these:

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