Realize, a driving force for any class 1 purchasing the property is the line to 'Keag. The grant money Pan Am was awarded would be a drop in the bucket of what I'd expect to see a CSX or NS dump into WTVL-KEAG in the first 24-36 months. That line has so much potential for it's access to SJ. The line isn't even OOS. Pan Am has been routinely running trains to 'Keag to switch the tie grinder. Any party who purchases the property will acquire a serviceable (haha) line to 'Keag, regardless of a haulage agreement with CP. You all seem to talk about it like the rails were ripped up. It's in, essentially, the same condition its been for a decade. It's good for a solid 10, outside of few weeks in the spring where the roadbed goes to hell. It really needs rock in places more than ties...Either way, the line is there and waiting for somebody's wallet to take it from zero to hero in short order. I expect those 60 miles to be a gem of a line in another few years.
Realize also that for CM&Q a few hundred dollars/car was well worth the hassle of haulage. For CP the hassle out weighs the $. CP is interested in the ports and line haul. 50 miles and pittance doesn't really fit a class 1's model, and since they don't need the money like CM&Q did they don't want to deal with it.
If CP cancels the agreement on their terms, they:
A) don't have to eff with interchange at NMJ as often.
B) have a speedy and more competitive route, which will outservice Pan Am on any SJ connection bound outside of New England in the short term. (Irving just reshuffled their "schedules" to reduce dwell time at BRVJCT.)
Their maintaining haulage does nothing to prevent a competitor from reaching Irving directly, adds hassle to CP's routine, and essentially subsidizes a competitor. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.