• CSX to acquire Pan Am Railways

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

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  by newpylong
 
MEC407 wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:13 am The STB has five board members: four of them (including the chairman and the vice chairman) were appointed by President Trump; the fifth was appointed by President Obama. I think it's pretty unlikely that this particular board would be unduly influenced by the Biden Administration.
I originally thought so, but I since have begun to change my tune. I believe they are getting pressured (not necessarily from THE administration, but from different departments under it) to provide extra scrutiny on these types of transactions.
  by johnpbarlow
 
State of Vermont filed a comment with STB re: the CSX acquisition that to me almost seems like a non-comment:
The State of Vermont (VTrans) offers the comments below in response to CSX Transportation, Inc.’s (CSXT) supplemental traffic projections filed in the above-captioned matter on August 27, 2021 (CSXT Traffic Supplement).

CSXT’s traffic projections through 2027 appear to call into question the commercial underpinnings of the proposed merger, since CSXT portrays the anticipated growth in traffic volumes to simply track with market conditions, with little additional growth, if any, attributable to the merger. For instance, CSXT describes the Merger Transaction as “support[ing] organic growth of the industries in New England that currently rely on rail service,” including potentially increased efficiency, but not growth beyond such parameters, resulting from the consolidation of interline movements into single line movements (CSXT Traffic Supplement at 5), and predicts no net change in volumes on the post-merger system as the result of east-west traffic shifts between the Northern Route and Southern Route or any impact on north-south traffic on the Knowledge Corridor (CSXT Traffic Supplement at 14).

VTrans acknowledges the current vagaries of performing economic forecasting in light of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but notes, nevertheless, that, as an economic proposition, the proposed merger essentially maintains the status quo anticipated even in the absence of the merger.
I don't know what point VTrans is trying to make with the STB, if any. It offers no opinion on the proposed improvement to PAS physical plant that the acquisition should make, benefitting traffic to/from VRS.

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 303011.pdf
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Really. what "skin in the game" has Vermont got? To me it appears Maine is what it's all about with the potential to develop maritime and "Product of Forests" traffic. What industries could Vermont attract if there was better rail service?

Now if Amtrak accesses the CV and the RUT under this incremental trackage cost arrangement apparently existing with the Class I's, wow Amtrak, assuming freight, like Amtrak, is "one a day", Amtrak is paying 50% of the cost to keep their tracks in place.

So I would think these "borderline Short Line" Vermont roads' interests are best served by having the State transportation agency to continue funding the two Amtrak trains, and not with who owns the B&M.
  by newpylong
 
They're doing a swell job of biting the hand that feeds you and that's about it.

Any coincidence EDBF is the first crew these days to be sent to play leapfrog?
  by NYC27
 
I believe the point VTrans is making is that this transaction is not in the public interest if all it is doing is maintaining the status quo on traffic growth while reducing competition along the I-91 corridor and to/from VTR. That is obviously a guess, they certainly were vague about their point.

In reality CSX is trying to stay under the threshold that will trip an environmental review or other scrutiny. They should have pumped up their estimates a bit more though IMO.
  by conductorchris
 
What skin in the game does Vermont have? Ownership of hundreds of miles of track (operated by Vermont Rail System). They are trying to protect the value of their asset.

The contemplated upgrades CSX proposes to make do not cover Pan-Am Southern. (In fairness G&W does have a good record of track upkeep).

Pre-covid, the overwhelming share of traffic interchanged by Pan-Am to VRS was to/from CSX and NS.
  by newpylong
 
So help us understand their angle. The worst regional railroad in the country is fine as an interchange partner and good for their customers because there is some semblance of competition between the NS and CSX gateways? But a proven 3rd party operator with a track record of well, good track, and decent service (who is guaranteeing rates and keeping existing gateways open) is going to be worse?

Hard not to keep a straight face. VRS could move cars by wheelbarrowing them to Mechanicville and Rotterdam faster.
Last edited by newpylong on Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by NotYou
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:38 pm OK, Mr Train Guy; Mr. Foote, Chessie's CEO, says he's willing to "be out of" PAS.

Now does that automatically mean that Topper will "barrel out of the gate" and build a competitive route of Class 3 track and "fix Hoosac"?

Lest we forget that Chessie is not about to sell her shsre to "that nag" for $1. Who knows what she will want?

I cannot foresee any Class II Short Line, such as a G&W property, stepping up to make the necessary investment. Seek help from a public agency within the "Commonwealth of Tax".... and they will have you operating "four a day Flying Yankees".

Nevermind if anyone shows to ride.
Who or what is topper and what is the nag?
  by NHV 669
 
The horse/mascot that has served as part of the NS logo for four decades, the "nag" is referring to same.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by jamoldover
 
It's Mr. Norman's pet way of referring to Norfolk Southern, based on their Thoroughbred horse logo.
Last edited by MEC407 on Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by bostontrainguy
 
newpylong wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:00 pm Hard not to keep a straight face. VRS could move cars by wheelbarrowing them to Mechanicville and Rotterdam faster.
I guess VRS is the new PAR . . . after the marriage that is.
  by CN9634
 
Why hasn’t VRS provided specific examples of competitive harms or any of their customers spoken up (Omya for instance)?
  by BM1566GP7
 
"Any coincidence EDBF is the first crew these days to be sent to play leapfrog?"

Excellent reason to give VRS direct access to ED yard. EDBF/BFED to become a VRS train.
  by NotYou
 
jamoldover wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:16 am It's Mr. Norman's pet way of referring to Norfolk Southern, based on their Thoroughbred horse logo.
Thank you for clarifying. TIL that nag is a term for horse. I have known since I was a kid (when NS bought the Conrail lines where I was) Norfolk Southern's mascot is a horse, it's on almost all their engines. What does topper mean though?

@GilbertBNorman, can you please refrain from using cutesy pet names or at least put clarifications next to them? For instance: "that nag (NS or Norfolk Southern)." I understand having in-groups with a set of jargon, but this is a fairly public forum and the pet names make understanding for newcomers, such as me, reading discussions needlessly inaccessible.
  by newpylong
 
BM1566GP7 wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:55 pm "Any coincidence EDBF is the first crew these days to be sent to play leapfrog?"

Excellent reason to give VRS direct access to ED yard. EDBF/BFED to become a VRS train.
They don't want direct access to Deerfield they want access to NS and CSXT via another carrier (besides GWI). Getting them 20 miles closer to the end zone still isn't a touchdown.
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