Eddie remindes me of me more than any other character in the book, a loyal follower, not a leader. Able to see through the muck of the Thompsons, et al, but unable to lead, so to speak.
As implausible as it is, I like to think that Eddie eventually joins Dagney, and the rest at Galt's Gulch.
I always thought Eddie was supposed to be the character that most readers would identify with and his being left behind is Ayn's way of delivering a warning to the reader to be vigilant lest they find themselves left on an empty prairie
I always assumed that they’d come looking for Eddie, and he’d eventually join Galt’s Gulch; he’s too central a character to be left behind. Galt likes him, Hank likes him, he’s Francisco’s and Dagny’s childhood friend. Besides, Dagny’s going to need him once she starts rebuilding her railroad.