Posts Tagged ‘Syracuse New York’

STB Won’t Reconsider Conditions Imposed on Massena Line Sale

February 26, 2021

In a 3-2 decision, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board declined to reconsider the conditions that it earlier placed on Canadian National’s proposed acquisition of CSX’s Massena Line in New York state.

The decision might end the transaction if the two railroad follow through on earlier contentions that they could not complete the deal unless the STB reconsidered a condition to allow CN to negotiate interchange agreements with short lines in Syracuse, New York.

The Massena Line extends from Syracuse to the Montreal region in Canada.

CN’s deal to buy the route had been announced in October 2019 and approved by the STB last April.

But a provision of the sale agreement banned CSX from negotiating direct interchange with the Finger Lakes Railway and the New York, Susquehanna & Western in Syracuse.

The STB’s latest action was revealed on Thursday afternoon and officials of CSX and CN told news reporters they were reviewing the decision before responding to it.

The STB decision cited “serious competitive concerns” and rejected the contention of the railroads that the Board erred in imposing a condition designed to protect B&LE, “a ‘sophisticated buyer’ capable of evaluating the commercial impacts of the transaction.”

The reference to B&LE refers to CN subsidiary Bessemer & Lake Erie, which operates in Ohio and Pennsylvania but had been designated by CN to operate the Massena Line under the CN banner.

“B&LE’s agreeing to a provision that the board has deemed anticompetitive does not remove the board’s authority to address the anticompetitive impacts of a transaction by ensuring a carrier’s ability to seek access or interchange with nearby carriers, consistent with the board’s statutory objectives,” the STB wrote in its decision.

STB members Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schulz dissented with Fuchs writing that the majority on the Board had ignored the fact that CN and the Finger Lakes Railway can’t directly interchange today.

 “The majority’s erroneous attempt to perfect the transaction has delayed and jeopardized meaningful network improvements and may well discourage similar improvements in the future,” he wrote.

CN, CSX Still Unable to Finish Line Sale

December 2, 2020

The acquisition by Canadian National of a CSX secondary line between Syracuse, New York, and Montreal continues to lag.

The two railroads this week said they could not meet a Nov. 30 deadline to finish the deal and asked for a deadline extension to Feb. 28, 2021. Either party could back out of the deal before that date.

The line in question is known as the Massena Line and the STB had last April approved CN’s acquisition of it through its Bessemer & Lake Erie subsidiary.

However, a sticking point in completing the deal has been an STB directive that CSX and CN remove a sale provision that prohibits CN from ever negotiating direct interchange with the Finger Lakes Railway and the New York, Susquehanna & Western in the Syracuse area.

In their latest filing with the STB, CN and CSX said they remain unable to come to revised terms of the sale and have asked the Board to reconsider its directive.

The STB has twice extended the deadline for CN and CSX to submit a revised purchase and sale agreement.

In the filing this week the two railroads asked the STB to expedite its response to their request.

The sale involves  278.1 miles between Beauharnois, Quebec, and Woodard, New York,

including 41.8 miles of trackage in Quebec and branch lines and spurs on both sides of the border.

CSX Track Work to Affect Syracuse Station

September 7, 2016

Amtrak said the eastbound Lake Shore Limited (Chicago to New York), Maple Leaf (New York-Toronto) and Empire Service trains 281 and 284 (New York-Niagara Falls, New York) are subject to delay due to track work in Syracuse, New York.

The track work began on Aug. 28 and will continue through Sept. 14. CSX owns the tracks used by Amtrak in Syracuse.

Amtrak Lake Shore LimitedTrains may be delayed between 30 to 45 minutes and on some dates passengers will board at the New York State Fairgrounds three miles west of the station.

Passengers will be transported by a shuttle bus on those days.

The shuttles will operate on Sept. 11 and 12. Amtrak said that even if a train is delayed, the shuttle buses will leave the Syracuse station at the scheduled train departure time.

Those boarding in Syracuse are advised not to use the Amtrak train status information to determine what time to arrive at the station. Buses will depart at the time shown on the ticket.

Passengers traveling to Syracuse on Sept. 11 and 12 will detrain at the fairgrounds and ride a shuttle bus to the station.

If the shuttle bus is not trackside upon arrival of the train, passengers will be directed to remain onboard until the shuttle has arrived.

Checked baggage service to and from Syracuse will be suspended on Train 48 on both days.