Parallel lines had less to do with these railroads than the times: the interstate highway system, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the migration of industries to the south and west, the loss of mineral traffic including anthracite coal and cement. It is easy to say, too, it was an unsympathic government and taxes. Railroads came out of the 19th Century needing to be harnessed by the ICC like bad boys sent to their rooms and not allowed out. Not being able to come out and play on an even playing field (rails couldn't just stop running, but had to petition their way out, a truck just stopped; they couldn't make long term or volume contracts with their customers, truck and barges could; etc.) hampered their being able to survive; in short they couldn't adjust quickly to changing conditions. In addition, I believe, there were many managers and upper level white collars who were just a few years away from retirement, so they hid behind thier desks beause they knew they would be gone so soon and someone else would have to pick up the mess. The other hit taken by the DL&W were Diane and Hazel, hurricaines which dealth expensive blows to the railroad; the EL had Agnes in 1972. There wasn't just one or two reasons the rails got into trouble, but many working together, some unseen, that ate away at the structure until it was too late.