With regard to the ongoing flap about building the Metro tracks next to the CSX rail tracks, it was stupid to have done so in the first place. We have so many super roads from the area. The tracks should have been placed in the middle of such roads, as has been done in Chicago and other places, including the sensible extension of the Metro into Virginia, where such a layout was accomplished. Instead of having 12 lanes on I-270, why not place two tracks at its center, which would allow many car drivers to end the frustration of driving for fast entrance into the city? MILTON J. COHEN Washington

Management of the CSX railway should not require prods and pleas from riders and officials of Metro to eliminate train wrecks. The profit motive alone should be a sufficient basis. One good wreck can wipe out profits for a week. And besides loss of dollars, there is the indescribable inconvenience to passengers of Metrorail who wake up to find that they have no Metro.

With the shaky state of maintenance of trains and tracks, the longer a train is and the faster it goes, the more chance there is for a wreck. As long as a train will run and the tracks will hold up the train, they will bring a profit -- up to the point of a wreck. But this is not good management.

Better maintenance could be instituted in a relatively short period of time -- and would be a much better solution to the current problems than a tunnel or an elevated track for Metro, or a "Berlin Wall" between the two sets of tracks. Better maintenance -- and long freight trains not hampered by a limit on speed -- would improve profit henceforth. CSX could lower its freight rates and earn more profit, and everybody would win. W. EDWARDS DEMING Washington