First, Col. Perkowski and/or Mr. Maine Central, thank you for re-titling this topic to best reflect the apparent "done deal". My $2 on Topper is now in the trash.
I remain astounded the lack of coverage this "groundbreaking" event has received in major financial media. Both Bloomberg and The Journal have copied the CSX Press Release at their sites. The Times, nada. TRAINS and Railway Age? The Press Release and a few scant comments. The release came in time before the newsday closed, yet none of these newssources assigned a staff reporter to "dig".
But maybe tomorrow.
I consider this acquisition "groundbreaking" in that the STB went to the lengths they did to ensure balanced competitive rail during the '90's merger movement, but in this instance, they have thus far "not". True, the SOO Line through the CP-M, represents some competition for the paper products originating in Maine, but their line only feeds traffic to Canada and parent CP. While CP could give any such traffic consigned to USA Midwest destinations back to the SOO at Detroit through their CRSA interchange privileges there (and their apparently "strong" trackage rights over the NS), the routing is circuitous to say the least when compared with Chessie or Topper.
The only way that balanced competition could be achieved within the region would have been an arrangement such as Conrail Shared Assets represents. Maybe the Surf Board concluded "not worth it". After all, Northern New England is "uh, not exactly" New York, Philadelphia, or Detroit with regards to rail traffic (folks around here from "up that way", please accept my apology).
Traffic from the Port of Saint John? well, no US rail regulatory agency is empowered to force its opening to any US road. Possibly JD Irving, who seems to own most of the industry in town, is happy to give their traffic to the circuitously routed CN and so far as fixing up their rinky dink Short Lines into Maine, FRA Class 2 does just fine to handle our timber. After all if it "spills" so what. Just put it back on the cars - no OS&D to worry about.
Trying to implement the Springfield Terminal Labor Agreements beyond where they are in force today? Chessie could be looking at a national strike that could wipe out any potential savings within an hour. Besides, Mr. Newpy, who has "pounded the ground", notes that some provisions of the ST Agreement are more labor favorable than are the National BLE-UTU (or whoops, BLET-SMART) counterparts.
Pan Am Southern? will Topper just walk away from the inferior routing with FRA Class 2 and a clearance restricted tunnel that could cave in again, or will he seek a CRSA arrangement to the traffic sources that will put some "oats in his bin"?
This now forty years removed from the industry residing in the Midwest (and fifty years removed from CT residency) is watching these developments as they move forth. But this 79yo enquiring mind still wants to know.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.