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Flashback Friday (Time Magazine)-Railroads: Birth of the Penn Central

Get your weekend started off the right way by reading this article from Friday, January 19 1962, which discussed the announcement of the Pennsylvania and New York Central's proposed merger. The combination would not take place for another 6 years and would roil the entire industry. Yet, it's interesting to note what was being said at the time: "For top man their choice seems likely to fall on Pennsy Chairman James M. Symes (pronounced Sims), 64, a railroad man all his life. His directors are pressing him to postpone his retirement in order to launch the new line. Central directors will name the president-chief administrative officer of the new road plus a second vice chairman. As a gesture to the Pennsy, Central directors seem ready to tap as president Allen Greenough, 56, currently president of the Pennsylvania. Central President Alfred Perlman, 59, a tough operating man but less effective in administration and not too highly regarded at the Pennsy, seems slated for a vice chairmanship." And: Even if everyone else approves, the roads will certainly face trouble with the railroad brotherhoods, which last week extravagantly denounced the merger agreement as "the most catastrophic proposal . . . ever placed before the public" and asked up to three years' pay for anyone laid off.

We all know things did not turn out this way: James Symes stepped aside, yielding the big chair at the Pennsy to Stuart Saunders, who ultimately led the merger. Allen Greenough spent little time at Penn Central before quickly exiting, and Saunders' concessions to unions ended up being just one part of PC's downfall. Click below for the full article from Time's Archives: Link:,33009,895870-1,00.html Joseph Shallit--Manager, Employee Publications - Penn Central Transportation Company via Wikimedia Commons

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