GM: Nice little railway system you got there. How much will you take for it?
Railway owners: Make an offer.
Railway onwers: Sold!
Sounds like normal competition to me, and competition’s nature is to eliminate rivals. Even if GM admitted to a deliberate scheme to replace rail transit with auto transit, few in the 30 or so years it took to do so could have seen in 1950 into the future to see the damage the scheme would cause.
I recently read a story (where, I don’t remember) that Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were in competition over whether a gasoline or electric engine would dominate the automobile market. In the beginning the electric engine had more going for it (better mpg, fewer moving parts and thus less maintenance, cleaner, quieter, more powerful), but the battery driving distance was short and recharging time was much longer than pumping gas, the same problems electric engines have today, but Edison was optimistic battery technology would improve so that electric engines would outperform gasoline ones. Obviously Ford’s marketing campaign and ease of refueling beat Edison’s battery technology, and Edison’s battery languished until the times changed and caused some intrepid souls to dust off Edison’s books and take another stab at the electric engine.