• Pan Am Railways For Sale?

  • 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 Safetee
 
an interesting twist that might not add up to much right now but in ma gl ch 161 apparently massachusetts has the right of first refusal for any railroad property located in mass that is for sale. local west mass legislators are supposedly pushing for mass dot to utilize that law to purchase at least fitchburg to greenfield and possibly all the way to north adams. i would question if the stb would allow this and or whether mass dot has enough money to buy the property right now. but i wouldnt complain about it if it actually came to pass.
  by gokeefe
 
I doubt very much whether the STB would challenge the right of Massachusetts to a right of first refusal on lines within the Commonwealth but the price is Pan Am's to set and *that* is something the STB would defend to the very end.

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  by newpylong
 
The loophole is the entire system is going to be part of the deal, not just a single portion in MA. MassDOT cannot expect a seller to break up the transaction and only sell MA property to them. This right of first refusal would really only come into play if railroads attempted to abandon additional trackage in the state.
  by PBMcGinnis
 
Oh yeah, there is a high demand to commute from North Adams to Fitchburg.

Just more dreaming and scheming by the folks in the Legislature.
  by newpylong
 
Right - nobody is. Also, the vast amount of tourists going to North Adams (and the Berks in general) are from the South and West, not Eastern MA. Those are also the people pumping money in revitalizing the City. Furthermore, many of those coming from New York do not have vehicles. A connection from Albany, if anything, makes a heck of a lot more sense than MassDOT going to the East. Pipe Dreams.

Even if the state did want to purchase it, I would expect a Federal court throw out any case regarding a right of first refusal on the grounds of federal preemption.
  by gokeefe
 

newpylong wrote:Even if the state did want to purchase it, I would expect a Federal court throw out any case regarding a right of first refusal on the grounds of federal preemption.
I am not confident at all that federal preemption would come into play with regards to the ability of the state to exercise a statutory right of first refusal for mileage only within Massachusetts.

There is a lot of long standing precedent with regards to intra state matters regarding railroads. This most certainly does not cover things like transloading, or types of freight but there are *some* areas where states can step in on railroads and I think the right of first refusal could be one of them.


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  by newpylong
 
I think you would find they cannot force the railroad to split up their Interstate assets in the event of a sale to appease any such law. They'll be given the right of first refusal all right, but it will be for the whole thing. So not gonna happen.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
PBMcGinnis wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:25 am Oh yeah, there is a high demand to commute from North Adams to Fitchburg.

Just more dreaming and scheming by the folks in the Legislature.
Pat, I'm on the Parole Board at Danbury so maybe for that wisdom, you deserve to be "sprung" :P :P

OK; Mass is certainly pro-passenger train (weren't for the Kennedys, the Amtrak NEC would have ended at New Haven - Boston would have been an "important feed" about like Albany) but to buy the B&M lines primarily for passenger trains ranks down there with buying the New Haven Pittsfield to the State Line for same.

If MDOT really wants to expand regional passenger service why haven't they approached Chessie offering to double track the B&A to Springfield? That's where the people are.

Nevermind that Chessie would have her claws in attack mode if they ever did.
  by gokeefe
 

newpylong wrote:I think you would find they cannot force the railroad to split up their Interstate assets in the event of a sale to appease any such law. They'll be given the right of first refusal all right, but it will be for the whole thing. So not gonna happen.
I think this is likely correct but I wonder if due to the Ts ownership Lowell Junction - Plaistow if the STB might split hairs and say that the MA section to North Adams would be treated as an "intrastate" asset. I think they probably (90%) would not take this position but it is not as clear cut as it would be if Pan Am owned the whole thing.

I *will* say that the separate railroad companies (BM/MEC/ST/GTI) with a holding company is almost certainly not a basis for division within the MA assertion of a ROFR.



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  by Safetee
 
one interesting piece of this discussion is the little piece that mass dot does own smack right in the middle but is sometimes forgotten. some years ago mass dot acquired the east deerfield yard in exchange for financing track improvements there.
  by BandA
 
The railroads are state chartered I think, so probably severable (I think/guess) at the state line.
  by BandA
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:14 am ....If MDOT really wants to expand regional passenger service why haven't they approached Chessie offering to double track the B&A to Springfield? That's where the people are.

Nevermind that Chessie would have her claws in attack mode if they ever did.
MA is supposedly going to perform access upgrades to the Springfield freight yard in exchange for CSX playing nice. This was reported around here a couple years ago, haven't heard anything lately. MBTA also needs a second platform at Worcester (& more layover space there?) which I think requires negotiating with CSX for a bit of their Worcester yard. I don't think anything will happen until fed grants become available or traffic exceeds pre-COVID19 levels.
  by b&m 1566
 
Politicians love to hear themselves speak and its an election year, so this is when they make the most noise and that's all it is, just noise.
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