Posts Tagged ‘Genesee & Wyoming’

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.

I Always Looked for the Springville Station

March 11, 2021

Over the past 40 plus years I’ve visited the Arcade & Attica Railroad either by myself, with family members, or with friends. I’m guessing I’ve visited the A&A at least 15 times.

On all of those trips I’ve passed through Springville, New York, on New York Route 39.

I always watched for the crossing of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh (Baltimore & Ohio) railroad line.

In the route’s last years it was owned by Genesee & Wyoming’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh. 

During the years of my travels to the A&A, the Springville station was a highlight and is still intact and in use, although not as a railroad station.

It has been restored and remains in very good condition.

I’ve read conflicting stories of when the last train ran and when the track was ripped up.

A few stories I found say the last train was in 1996 and was possibly pulled by Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261. These reports say the rail was removed around 2010.

The PCC coffee shop called A Streetcar Named Dessert was added in the late 1990s and remained in business until 2011.

The car is former Toronto Transit Commission No. 4434. Based on what I’ve read, the PCC was possibly scrapped after it was removed.

All of the photographs that accompany this post were made on June 1, 2008.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

CSX Files Pan Am Merger Plan with STB

February 28, 2021

CSX has formally notified the U.S. Surface Transportation Board of its plans to acquire Pan Am Railways.

The merger application said the transaction will improve service, capture business from trucks, and boost railroad competition in New England.

The deal had been announced on Nov. 30. Pan Am operates 1,700 miles of track and haulagae rights from Albany, New York, to Maine.

In what some industry observers see as a concession to Norfolk Southern, which had expressed initial opposition to the news of the pending acquisition, CSX will have a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary operate the Pan Am Southern, a joint venture of Pan Am and NS.

G&W’s Pittsburg & Shawmut subsidiary operating as Berkshire & Eastern, will operate Pan Am Southern of which NS is a 50 percent owner.

CSX will own half of Pan Am Southern while NS will retain its ownership share.

NS had sought a neutral party to operate the Pan Am Southern.

The Atlanta-based Class 1 also will gain trackage rights over CSX, Providence & Worcester, and Pan Am between Albany and Ayer, Massachusetts, for intermodal and automotive traffic.

That will provide a faster route for NS intermodal trains 22K and 23K as well as a route that avoids the clearance restrictions in 4.75-mile Hoosac Tunnel in western Massachusetts.

Using CSX track on the former Water Level Route and the Boston & Albany via Worcester, Massachusetts, is expected to reduce the running time for the 22K and 23K by three hours and eliminate a single-stacking operation at Mechanicville., New York.

In return NS has agreed to help pay for clearance work between Worcester and Aye and will rebuild its former Delaware & Hudson route from Delanson, New York, to Voorheesville, New York.

Two NS manifest freights will continue to operate daily over the Pan Am Southern between Albany and the Pan Am classification yard at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The Pan Am Southern, which has 425 miles of rail lines and trackage rights routes, is now operated by Pan Am’s Springfield Terminal subsidiary.

G&W already connects with Pan Am Southern through its New England Central, Providence & Worcester, and Connecticut Southern.

The STB filing did not estimate cost savings or revenue gains that CSX expects from acquiring Pan Am.

“While CSXT expects rail traffic on the PAR System to grow over time, CSXT does not expect to make any significant changes in traffic routes or traffic volumes in the next few years,” the filing said.

Having Pan Am will extend CSX’s reach into Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Saint John, New Brunswick.

CSX is already the dominant Class 1 freight railroad in New England but said that because it is an end-to-end merger there will be no adverse effects on competition.

The petition said no short line railroads will lose competitive access and the Berkshire & Eastern will independently set rates on Pan Am Southern.

G&W Customers Invested $1.6B in Industrial Projects Last Year

February 12, 2021

Customers of Genesee & Wyoming railroads invested $1.6 billion on 45 new industrial projects across its rail network in 2020 the company said in a news release.

The release said this resulted in the generation of more than 800 jobs in communities across its network of 116 short line railroads.

Among those projects was a new facility for shipping automobiles in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and another facility for recycling zinc in Cass County, Indiana.

In a statement G&W Chief Commercial Officer Mike Peters said investments such as these are “testimony not only to the critical role of rail transportation in the supply chain, but also to the commitment and resiliency of our customers during the challenges of a global pandemic.”

NS Opposes CSX Bid to Buy Pan Am

November 10, 2020

CSX wants to buy Pan Am Railways, but Norfolk Southern has already expressed opposition.

The 1,700-mile privately-held New England regional railroad has been for sale for several weeks by owner Timothy Mellon.

NS has a partnership with Pan Am that gives it access to New England via trackage rights on the former Boston & Maine main line between Mechanicville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts.

In a filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, NS said its venture with Pan Am has strengthened competition with CSX, which already operates a mainline in New England to Boston from Albany, New York.

“Any CSXT effort to acquire Pan Am would threaten to materially undermine this existing competition, thus impacting not only NSR, but also rail shippers and other railroads,” NS said in its filing.

For its part, CSX will only confirm it has held discussions with Pan Am “regarding a possible transaction.”

In a statement, CSX said it “has engaged directly with Norfolk Southern to understand any issues they might have.”

Other potential buyers for Pan Am are thought to include Canadian Pacific and short line railroad conglomerate Genesee & Wyoming.

The price of buying Pan Am is expected to be around $700 million.

Pan Am has been profitable every year since being founded in 1981 as Guilford Transportation Industries.

It’s network reaches from Albany into Maine and includes the former Maine Central, Boston & Maine, Portland Terminal, and Springfield Terminal railroads.

CSX now connects with Pan Am at Worcester, Massachusetts.

Indiana Southern Workers Ratify New Contract

November 6, 2020

A new collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by employees of the Indiana Southern Railroad.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said the five-year contract governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for 17 members, including locomotive engineers and conductors.

The ISRR union workers belong to BLET Division 270 based in Washington, Indiana.

The ISRR is part of the Genesee & Wyoming and operates 196 miles of former Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central track between Indianapolis and Evansville, Indiana.

Primary commodities hauled include coal and agricultural commodities that are interchanged with CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Indiana Rail Road.