CSX Branch Line Sale May Fall Through

The sale of a CSX branch line in Upstate New York is in danger of falling through.

Canadian National wants to acquire 278 miles of the Massena Line in New York and Quebec.

Its Bessemer & Lake Erie subsidiary would operate the U.S. portions of the line.

The sale has received U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval but twice the parties involved have failed to meet a deadline to complete the deal.

The sticking point is an STB mandate that CN and CSX remove from the sale agreement a clause that prohibits CN from even negotiating with the Finger Lake Railway and the New York, Susquehanna for a direct interchange in Syracuse agreement.

“Under present circumstances, it regrettably appears that the parties will be unable to proceed with the transaction” unless the board reconsiders the interchange provision, CN and CSX wrote in a joint letter to the STB.

The letter said the carriers will ask the STB to reconsider it order to remove the no direct interchange negotiation clause.

The STB in April had rejected a request by Finger Lakes that it be allowed to interchange cars with CN in Syracuse.

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