Author: Sgt. Joe Friday
Date: 08-06-2018 - 21:50
Actually, it is indirectly railroad related.
The summer 1966 airline strike gave the passenger railroads a kind of "Indian Summer," an opportunity to show what they could still do. The SP City of San Francisco ran consists of as many as 24 cars, and some railroads like B & O held out hope that the airlines' tripping over their own you-know-what might convince some portion of the traveling public that privately operated trains had a place in the scheme of things.
But it was not to be. As soon as the airline strike ended, traffic patterns on most routes reverted to pre-strike levels. The writing was on the wall, and when most of the mail contracts were yanked a little more than a year later, the death spiral began.
In retrospect, I wonder if deregulation of the air and rail freight businesses might not have been the right move, while retaining a (lightly-to-modestly) regulated passenger market for both. We'll never know.