You're forgetting a couple of things here --CPF363 wrote:I appreciate your comments. However, I am under the impression that the PRR did not need to do the merger with the NYC in the first place. The expensive conditions placed upon the merger, most especially the divestiture of their N&W stock, were not worth it in the end. Instead, the PRR should have invested and modernized in its own core east-west railroad and spun off north-south lines in the Midwest to the Southern and L&N railroads (didn't the Southern want to purchase the DT&I at one time?) and worked an arrangement with Amtrak, the U.S. Government and the ICC for their purchase and operation of the Northeast Corridor and Keystone electrified lines in exchange for getting control and rebuilding the Reading Railroad during their bankruptcy in 1971. If they made it to the 1980s with good management in place, they could have petitioned the ICC for a PRR-N&W-Wabash merger which would have resulted in essentially what we now have in the Northeast with Norfolk Southern's network without a Penn Central bankruptcy, creation of and subsequent breakup of Conrail.
The PC merger process was started in the early-to-mid 1960's. Amtrak wasn't even a gleam in anyone's eye until almost 10 years later. Amtrak was formed as part of a response to the PC bankruptcy, so no PC, no Amtrak.
Also, you say the conditions "were not worth it in the end". That assumes that the teams working toward the merger had a way of knowing what would happen over two decades later. If your ability to predict the future is that good, I want to know which stocks to invest in...
The wholesale abandonment of redundant lines that took place under Conrail was only allowed once Congress and the ICC (later STB) saw the direct results of the policies that railroads had been complaining about for years. Without those changes in the rules, we would still have a broken-down, rule-bound, unprofitable railroad industry. While I'm not in any way a fan of PC, without the PC merger and bankruptcy, we wouldn't have a healthy railroad industry today.