Posts Tagged ‘New England railroads’

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.

Two New England Railroad Favorites

December 22, 2020

Ursula and I vacationed in New England for the first time in September 1990. We fell in love with New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Because of that we returned more than 10 times over the next 25 years.

I conducted research to locate some special railroad locations for photography.

Above are two of my favorite spots. On trips in later years we at times returned to those spots in the hope of getting an even better photograph.

However, after studying my photos I found our first trip produced the best and favorite of my photos.

In the top image  Green Mountain RS1 No. 405 passes the Bartonsville, Vermont, covered bridge on the former Rutland Railway.

The RS1 is also ex-Rutland. The bridge is also special.

Built in 1869, it spans the Williams River which branches off the Connecticut River north of Bellows Falls, Vermont.

On Aug. 28, 2011, flash floods from Hurricane Irene washed the bridge away. A new bridge was constructed and opened Jan. 26, 2013.

My photo shows the 1869 bridge and was made on Sept. 3, 2000.

The bottom photo was made at Intervale, New Hampshire, about three miles northwest of North Conway.

The Conway Scenic train is returning to North Conway on the ex-Maine Central (Mountain Division) line.

The spot was special because of the sag in the straightaway and especially because of Mt. Washington some 25 miles in the distance. The photo was made on Sept. 5, 2000.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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.

Amtraking East in Search of Trolleys and Other Delightful Railroad Museum Pieces in Connecticut

February 27, 2016

A Rail Diesel Car wearing New Haven markings pauses at the station in Thomaston, Connecticut.

A Rail Diesel Car wearing New Haven markings pauses at the station in Thomaston, Connecticut.

I recently traveled to New Haven, Connecticut, for the annual Cabin Fever outing hosted by the Shoreline Trolley Museum this year.

It’s a gathering of volunteers from many of the streetcar museums to swap lies and drink beer.

I traveled via Amtrak using the Capitol Limited, the Pennsylvanian and Northeast corridor Regionals.

Norfolk Southern offered us a two-hour delay in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, due to track work and deciding that five westbound freights were a higher priority.

That messed up my connection to a Regional train in Philadelphia. Then the Philly Fire Department provided an hour-plus delay.

My return via Washington worked out better. It was my first time on the Corridor and cruising between 115 and 125 mph was impressive.

The reduced consist of the westbound Capitol Limited felt like a milk run in comparison.

On Feb. 19, we had an RDC excursion on the Railway Museum of New England in Thomaston that included several photo stops and a tour of their shops.

Among the notable pieces in the collection are a Canadian Pacific sister to Jerry Jacobson’s No. 1293, a New Haven RS3, a Central Vermont wood caboose and a GE C40-B.

Other pieces include New Haven FL-9 and a U25B. Unfortunately, their yard is too crowded for good photos.

We spent Friday night and all day Saturday at the Shoreline Museum riding and operating cars from their fleet as well as exploring many barns full of quite interesting pieces from along the East coast and elsewhere.

All in all, I had a great time getting together with old friends and making new ones.

I recommend you plan a vacation to the Northeast. There’s a lot of railroading to experience up there.

Article and Photographs by Alex Bruchac

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

A mid-‘20s vintage car at the end of the line in front of the Frank Sprague visitor center.

A mid-‘20s vintage car at the end of the line in front of the Frank Sprague visitor center.

A New England 1906 Railway Post Office car.

A New England 1906 Railway Post Office car.

A turn of the century New York City Third Avenue Brill-built car.

A turn of the century New York City Third Avenue Brill-built car.

This Connecticut Company emergency car (wrecker) was a ery noisy car to ride with all the tools hanging on the walls and crashing about.

This Connecticut Company emergency car (wrecker) was a ery noisy car to ride with all the tools hanging on the walls and crashing about.

A sad home town boy is RTA No. 27, a former Newark, New Jersey, and Minneapolis PCC.

A sad home town boy is RTA No. 27, a former Newark, New Jersey, and
Minneapolis PCC.

No. 745 was part of a seven car train trapped in the World Trade Center and only two to survive. The other is in a museum in Kingston, New York.

No. 745 was part of a seven car train trapped in the World Trade Center and only two to survive. The other is in a museum in Kingston, New York.