B&LE to Operate CSX Line in New York

The Bessemer & Lake Erie will be expanding soon, but it won’t be in either Ohio or Pennsylvania.

Instead the B&LE will acquire on behalf of parent Canadian National a CSX line in New York State that reaches into Canada.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Monday approved B&LE’s acquisition of the Massena rail lines, a 236-mile system that stretches from Woodard, New York, to Valleyfield, Quebec.

CN and CSX will use the route to interchange traffic, which makes up 45 percent of the freight moved on the line.

In a filing with the STB, CN said acquiring the line will ensure that traffic using the lines continues to move directly between the two railroads rather than through an additional, unaffiliated railroad.

The transaction will become effective on May 21.

The STB some conditions sought by competing rail lines including an attempt by the Finger Lakes Railway to gain direct interchange with CN in Syracuse, New York.

However, the STB did direct CSX and CN to remove a clause in the sale agreement that would have prohibited from ever negotiating interchange in Syracuse with Finger Lakes and the New York, Susquehanna & Western.

Currently, CN and CSX interchange traffic in Huntingdon, Quebec, but it will now be moved to DeWitt Yard in Syracuse and Belle Isle Yard near Solvay, New York.

CN plans to operate a pair of trains carrying manifest freight and intermodal traffic between Montreal and Syracuse.

The intermodal traffic originates in Montreal and Toronto and is bound for ports in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey.

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