Posts Tagged ‘Genesee & Wyoming’

ORDC Supports 4 CRISI Grant Applications

November 19, 2022

The Ohio Rail Development Commission has approved supporting four grant applications to the Federal Railroad Administration.

The four projects are seeking a collective $52 million in federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grant funding.

The four projects include a $4.3 million project by R.J. Corman to rebuild track near Dover and Clinton. The track rehabilitation would eliminate slow orders and restore FRA Class II track speeds.

In the Cincinnati region, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Genesee & Wyoming, are cooperating to review and establish priorities for projects that would reduce congestion in the vicinity of /Queensgate Yard.

The Kanawha River Railroad and NS are seeking $32.5 million to rebuild a rail route between Columbus and Cornelia, West Virginia.

NS owns the track but rail operations are conducted by the KRR, a subsidiary of short line holding company Watco.

The project will eliminate slow orders and restore Class II track speeds across the line.

In western Ohio, the Napoleon Defiance & Western is seeking $13.2 million to complete rehabilitating track between Defiance and Napoleon.

The project would bring the entire line back to a state of good repair.

G&W Says Shippers Invested $1.5B in 2021

March 24, 2022

Genesee & Wyoming said this week in a news release that its shippers had invested $1.5 billion in industrial development along its 103 U.S. railroads last year.

Those investments involved 69 projects that G&W said will generate more than 1,000 new jobs.

One of those projects is located in Delta, Ohio, which will receive from the Indiana & Ohio Railway inbound coils to make pipe.

G&W said it is the fourth steel customer to expand business along the I&O since 2015.

Another project includes a wind-turbine trans-loading site in Remington, Indiana, served by Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway.

G&W said it maintains a database of more than 600 potential industrial development properties across its U.S. railroads.

G&W to Create New Dispatching Center

January 19, 2022

Short line holding company Genesee & Wyoming plans to build a new dispatching center in St. Albans, Vermont.

The 10,000-square foot facility will be located in vacant site and replace an existing dispatching office located in St. Albans.

G&W will lease the space to be occupied by the dispatching office. The company had considered moving its dispatchers elsewhere but the City of St. Albans responded with an economic development package.

G&W dispatches its properties from St. Albans, including the Indiana & Ohio.

G&W Plans 2 Ohio Capital Projects in 2022

January 10, 2022

Short line holding company Genesee & Wyoming plans two major capital projects in Ohio this year, Trains magazine reported on its website.

G&W has received a $7.8 million grant that will be used to make improvements in Delta on the Indiana & Ohio.

The work includes installing 40,000 feet of rail, 1,5000 ties, 10 miles of surfacing, 10 turnouts, and a 7,450-foot siding.

In Lima on the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern, G&W will undertake a $9 million project to install 10.85 miles of welded rail at eight locations, and reconfigure a yard.

In all, G&W plans to spend $375 million in North America this year for capital projects, which railroad officials said is the highest capital spending figure in any of the past six years.

Much of that work will involve ties and rail for 900,000 ties and 336 miles of rail.

Crew Shortages Affect Short Lines, Too

November 24, 2021

Crew shortages spurred by employees leaving for other jobs and a dearth of applicants for the openings they leave behind have spread to short line railroads.

As reported by Trains magazine on its website, executives from a number of short line holding companies told an industry conference that in some instances short lines have been able to hire former Class 1 railroad workers despite the lower pay and benefits offered by short lines.

Short lines also offer more predictable working hours with operating personnel often able to return home at night once they complete their shift.

A Genesee & Wyoming executive told the conference the number of workers leaving G&W railroads doubled during the third quarter.

The article can be read at: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/train-crew-shortage-spreads-to-short-lines/

CSX Willing to Give up PAS Ownership

September 11, 2021

CSX CEO James Foote said during a conference this week that his company is open to giving up its half ownership of Pan Am Southern if it is allowed to acquire Pan Am Railways.

PAS ownership is currently split between Norfolk Southern and Pan Am. PAS provides NS with access to Boston.

CSX has proposed keeping its PAS ownership but giving operating control of it to a neutral party, a subsidiary of short line railroad conglomerate Genesee & Wyoming.

However, some critics of the CSX-Pan Am deal have argued that the G&W subsidiary – Berkshire & Eastern – is not necessarily a neutral party.

Speaking to the North American Rail Shippers conference on Thursday, Foote said, “It was our partner in that initiative that thought we should do it this way.”

PAS oversees the former Boston & Maine west of Ayer, Massachusetts, and a north-south route along the Connecticut River in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Among those opposing CSX plans for PAS are the U.S. Justice Department, Canadian Pacific, and Vermont public officials.

All have said the manner in which CSX has proposed to handle PAS raises competitive concerns, saying CSX is already the dominant freight railroads in New England.

Foote said he is baffled by why CP wants to route its New England traffic through the Hoosac Tunnel, which cannot accommodate double-stack intermodal traffic.

 “We’ve got a super deluxe double-stack railroad, but they don’t like it for some reason,” Foote said about his company’s Boston & Albany route.

CSX Describes Plans for Pan Am

May 3, 2021

In a filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, CSX has detailed its plans to rebuild regional carrier Pan Am Railways once it acquires it.

The plans include rebuilding the mainline over a five-year period, getting rid of older locomotives and installing positive train control over the full length of Pan Am track used by Amtrak’s Downeaster service between Boston and Brunswick, Maine.

Track that is now limited to 10 miles per hour will be upgraded to 25 mph standards. Most of this trackage is outside of lines used by Amtrak of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter trains and tends to be in Maine.

Yard tracks will be rebuilt to reduce derailments and improve yard operations.

CSX did not say how much its track rehabilitation program for Pan Am will cost.

The CSX filing said Pan Am has 102 locomotives whose average age is 40.6 years. The locomotive plan calls for using higher horsepower road locomotives that will enable the Pan Am fleet to be reduced in number.

Thirty-three Pan Am locomotives will be sold to Genesee & Wyoming’s Berkshire & Eastern, the designated operator of the 425-mile Pan Am Southern network jointly owned by Pan Am and Norfolk Southern.

CSX plans to keep Pan Am’s four-axle units but many of the six-axle units are General Electric C40-8s and C40-8Ws that CSX pared from its own roster years ago.

All of Pan Am’s locomotive and railcar shops will be kept, CSX said.

In time, CSX expects to operate fewer but longer trains over Pan Am, particularly after track is rebuilt for higher speeds.

The CSX-Pan Am merger is currently under review by the STB and CSX hopes to finish the transaction by Feb. 18, 2022, with a takeover date of March 20, 2022.

CSX Insists Pan Am Deal Will Enhance Competition

March 22, 2021

CSX is insisting that its acquisition of regional railroad Pan Am Railways will increase and not diminish competition in New England.

The carrier made the claims in filings with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in response to contentions by Vermont Rail System, along with transportation officials from Vermont and Massachusetts that the deal will harm rail competition in the region and should be subject to a more thorough review.

CSX contends that a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary that will oversee operations of Pan Am Southern will be a neutral operator.

Pan Am Southern is a joint venture of Pan Am and Norfolk Southern. CSX would assume Pan’s Am 50 percent ownership share of Pan Am Southern.

The G&W’s subsidiary, Berkshire & Eastern, will be obligated to operate in the interest of Pan Am Southern, not in the interest of G&W’s other New England railroads to the detriment of Pan Am Southern, CSX said in its filing.

CSX did agreed to ask the STB to extend the comment period by 30 days, as merger opponents have requested.

In its filing, CSX also contended the STB should consider the Pan Am acquisition  to be a minor transaction and thus not subject to the more stringent transaction rules applied to merger opponents.

Opponents of the sale want the STB to treat the Pan Am acquisition as a merger.

 “No party has offered a valid basis for requesting that the Board classify the transaction as ‘significant’ or to require the application to be re-filed,” CSX wrote in its filing. “The transaction was carefully structured to eliminate potential competitive harm, enhance competition, and improve the rail network throughout the Northeast. The only thing ‘significant’ about the Transaction is the extent to which it enhances competition and strengthens the rail network in the Northeast.”

In a letter sent to Massachusetts officials, CSX pledged to keep dispatching of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter service based at the Pan Am headquarters in North Billerica, Massachusetts, for the “foreseeable future.”

CSX also said it would work to maintain fluid commuter operations and cooperate with state officials to expand passenger service west of Worcester, Massachusetts, on its Boston & Albany route and elsewhere.

In its filing, CSX said it has 58 letters of support from shippers, government officials and local communities that favor the benefits the acquisition would provide.

Mass. Agencies Oppose CSX Deal to Buy Pan Am

March 19, 2021

Two Massachusetts transportation agencies have announced their opposition to the CSX acquisition of Pan Am Railways.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stated their opposition in filings with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

The agencies said the transaction will harm rail competition, potentially hinder commuter rail operations, and threaten a reservoir that provides drinking water for 3 million people in the Boston area.

State officials were also critical of a planned transaction involving Pan Am Southern, a joint venture that provides Norfolk Southern with access to New England.

They said the Pan Am Southern transaction should not be separated from CSX’s acquisition of Pan Am Railways and the STB should consider the related Pan Am Railways and Pan Am Southern deals as part of a single merger application.

CSX has sought to have the STB consider its Pan Am acquisition as a “minor” transaction but the Massachusetts agencies said it would be considered a “significant” transaction and thus subject to a more stringent and time-consuming review.

CSX also has asked the STB to exempt the Pan Am Southern transaction from board review.

Under terms of the transaction, CSX would hold Pan Am’s 50 percent ownership stake in Pan Am Southern while Norfolk Southern would continue to hold the other half.

Pan Am Southern would be turned over to a “neutral operator,” a subsidiary of short line holding conglomerate Genesee & Wyoming.

A dozen state Massachusetts lawmakers filed separately to urge the STB to consider the Pan Am acquisition in a more thorough review.

Saying the transaction involves the operation of 1,200 miles of railroad trackage in New England, MassDOT and MBTA argued that proponents of the deal “seem to not understand the public interest impacts of their proposals, except as they perceive them as a matter of promotion, business advantage and expedience.”

MassDOT and MBTA contend that their interests have been overlooked.

“Instead of rewarding such indifference, the Board would do all stakeholders a service by rejecting the application and the petition, and directing the parties to each filing to develop and file a single, comprehensive application encompassing all interdependent elements of the CSX-PAR and B&E-PAS Transactions, which the Board would then allow to be assessed under its significant transaction application procedures,” the agencies said in their filing.

VRS Wants STB to Reject Pan Am Sale to CSX

March 17, 2021

Vermont Rail System wants the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to turn down CSX’s proposed acquisition of New England regional railroad Pan Am Railways.

In a filing with the Board, VRS said the deal would reduce competition. In particular, VRS objects to a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary being named as the neutral party to operate Pan Am Southern, a joint venture with Norfolk Southern.

Genesee & Wyoming’s Pittsburg & Shawmut has been named by CSX to operate Pan Am Southern under the Berkshire & Eastern name.

Pan Am Southern has 425 miles of rail lines and trackage rights routes, including the former Boston & Maine main line between Mechanicville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts that is used by NS to reach the Boston area.

Pan Am Southern is currently operated by the Springfield Terminal, a Pan Am subsidiary.

VRS said the Pan Am acquisition as structured would surround it with G&W railroads. VRS operates state-owned tracks in Vermont.

In its filing, VRS said the deal would eliminate competition in portions of northern Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire; and give G&W an unfair competitive advantage due to access to market and price information on competitive routes.

VRS said the latter threatens its local traffic as well as bridge traffic moving between Quebec and southern New England.

In a related development, a coalition of railroad labor unions has asked the STB to extend the comment and review period regarding the Pan Am transactions.

“The Allied Rail Unions are at a loss to understand how P&S/B&E plans to operate the same lines with the same, or hopefully more, traffic with only 75 percent of the current work force; in particular they cannot comprehend the plan to operate over the same infrastructure with more or greater traffic but with only 48 percent of the maintenance of way work force,” the unions told the STB in a filing posted on Tuesday.

The unions include The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division/IBT; Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Mechanical Division; and NationalConference of Firemen and Oilers.

A CSX spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest developments other than saying the Class 1 carrier will be filing responses with the STB.