• CP Rail and the Conrail breakup

  • Discussion related to the operations and equipment of Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) from 1976 to its present operations as Conrail Shared Assets. Official web site can be found here: CONRAIL.COM.
Discussion related to the operations and equipment of Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) from 1976 to its present operations as Conrail Shared Assets. Official web site can be found here: CONRAIL.COM.

Moderators: TAMR213, keeper1616

  by CPF363
When CSX and Norfolk Southern were working to divide Conrail, why didn't CP Rail look to get more out of the breakup. It seems almost logical if they own the D&H to get the entire Southern Tier line to connect to the TH&B and have their own route to the Port of N.Y. It seems also logical to try to get their own line across Michigan to Chicago. CP could have even looked to effectively connect the Soo Line with the D&H across Ohio and Indiana using the old PRR main line. Does anyone know if they attempted such concessions from CSX and NS? There certainly was enough track to go around and still allow CSX and NS to get what they wanted from the division of Conrail.
  by Engineer Spike
CP had owned the D&H fro several years before the Conrail split happened. CP could see that the D&H's role as "competition" to Conrail made it an also ran in the Northeast market.Even if concessions were given in order to connect D&H and SOO, they would be a distant third out of 3 competitors in the market share.

The tact which CP has taken has turned out to be smart i the long run. They have used the D&H to further their linehaul to Philly, Harrisburg, etc, for Canadian products. On the other hand, CP has been able to turn the tables to give the big two eastern carriers access to points which they didn't have. The main one being a connection for NS to reach New England, and Montreal. CSX got these in the CR split. This has given CP the added trackage right fees and line capacity. In return, CP has gotten rights from NS between Detroit and Chicago. Both companies got what they want, and this probably makes the trackage rights payments a wash.

It has been said that Conrail gave D&H trains bad handling on their lines. I'm sure the present arrangement is much better, as NS and D&H/CPR are mutually dependent on each other.
  by scharnhorst
Canadian National put bids in on New York State at first on the Chicago Line from Buffalo to Albany and from Syracuse to Montreal and Montreal to NYC but backed out due to a labor strike that took place that year from what I remember reading, NYS&W wanted the southern tier all the way to Buffalo and Guilford wanted everything East of the New York State line from what I remember reading during the bidding war that was published in a Trains magazine at the time. If this had taken place CN, NYS&W, and Guilford would have taken what they wanted and CSX and NS would have taken the rest. I know that there were a few other lines in the Midwest that also had but dibs in on parts of Conrail but lost out as well to CSX and NS. I think it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Conrail had been split up like the Rock Island between several roads.
  by GulfRail
There's a simple reason, really: CP was hoping to sell the STL&H Railroad to NS. If they'd done that, they wouldn't have connected to Conrail. When CP backpedaled and decided to retain the STL&H, the Conrail split up was too far along for them to ask for anything. In hindsight, NS could've recouped part of the 5.8 billion dollar price tag by selling the Michigan Central and the Southe rn Tier to CP, but both NS and CSX were afraid that doing so would substantially reduce the value of the parts of Conrail they'd fought so hard (and paid so much) for.
  by Engineer Spike
Besides the StL&H deal, CP was in the middle of splitting up CP Limited. I got some CP stock as a safety award. This has since been split into CPR, CP Ships, Fording Hotels, and Encana.

Is the bidding war for Conrail, NS knew that if they won, the government would not let them keep everything. They were going to spit it with CP. I bet this would have been the Southern Tier, a line in MI, and a line across OH, and IN. I'll bet it would be the ex PRR, or maybe the NKP.
  by Engineer Spike
My last comment was based on what I read in The Men Who Loved Trains, by Rush Loving. NS didn't want CSX involved. They also knew that they couldn't take all of Conrail, since Uncle Sam would consider it to monopolistic. The solution was to give parts to CP.. I think CP was too wrapped up in its indecision on the eastern network (St.L&H) and the breakup of CP Ltd. Somehow the bidding war with CSX came to a truce, and they were able to carve up Conrail.

As a D&H employee, I wish that CP had been more decisive. Now we are a distant third to NS, and CSX. CP still is still trying to decide what parts of D&H to keep. Mr. Ritchie was a pleasure to work for, but I wish he had been more of a fighter.