Conrail is seen as the savior of railroading in the Northeastern United States. Railroading in the northeast in the early 1970s was in bad shape. Penn Central was in a record-setting bankruptcy, the anthracite roads were facing sharply declining coal demand, and the entire region was suffering from a glut of redundant lines. Conrail took these faltering operations, and in conjunction with a new federal regulatory environment, became a profitable and successful private enterprise.