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The Wreck of the Penn Central 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
If you enjoy learning about potential pitfalls which could threaten your business, there is little that the PC railroad did not face following its merger. I typically like to learn the mistakes of others and there are plenty of lessons to be had in this book (corporate communications, governance, high finance, strategy and the so on).
BTW -- after reading the book my conclusion is that the company lacked leadership, a strong strategy, a competitive product, and was handcuffed by needless government agencies and regulations. Further, if there was true leadership coming from the railroad, and if the government was at all interested in "leveling the playing field" in comparison to the airline and trucking industry subsidies, this country would still have an extensive and viable freight railroad system. Just my two cents.
Eventually the book transitions in the actual merger and some of the reasons it failed. The Penn Central's problems were many and varied. They ranged to everything from railroad operation problems (the non-compatible computer systems are a famous example), to high labor costs, to factors beyond the railroad's control (the ICC, the state of the industry, ect).
While the first few chapters kept me on the edge of me seat reading, the book drags a bit in the middle. Too much time is spent describing every point of the Penn Central's "Diversification Program" and every investment or perceived conflict of interest within the management is emphasized. There comes a point when you realize there is no way this railroad will stay in business and that it will all fail spectacularly. The book overemphasizes just how bad things were and for a while you have to trudge through it in order to see the fireworks at the end.
When the house of cards finally collapses however, it does so with great interest. Even though history tells you all you need to know about the end, there is a while when it seems as if the government would step in with a bailout to save the day and you almost think they will pull it off.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is in great condition considering its used. It was a gift and the person who received it has been wanting to read it for a long time. He was thrilled and happy with it.Published 23 days ago by Emily Stowe
Illustrates how politicians, excessive governmental regulation, and labor union greed can destroy once viable corporation.Published 9 months ago by Jack L. Boyle
did not realize I would be sent an old Library book.
The content of the book is fine. I had read it before. Read more
This book provided great insight to the external investments being made by PC's executive team
The merger was doomed from the start
I was reading a book by arthur haily called the moneychangers and a number of references were made to the wreck of the Penn Central Railroad. Read morePublished on May 6, 2014 by Bernard Haines
Being a railroad fan it was interesting to note how much early mergers suffered from Regulations and money grabbing insiders. Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by James F. Westphal
The book was not great literature but it gave me lots of information on a subject I was interested in. The book was in very good condition.Published on April 23, 2013 by alan braver