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CSX Corp. has agreed to buy Pan Am Railways Inc., North America’s largest regional railroad based in New England, extending CSX’s reach in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York and adding Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to its 23-state network.
Pan Am, which is based in North Billerica, Mass., owns and operates a nearly 1,200-mile rail network across New England, with access to several ports and large-scale commodity producers.
Terms of the deal, announced Dec. 1, were not disclosed.
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“In Pan Am, CSX gains a strong regional rail network in one of the most densely populated markets in the U.S., creating new efficiencies and market opportunities for customers as we continue to grow,” said James M. Foote, president and chief executive officer of CSX.
David A. Fink, president of Pan Am, said the agreement with the Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX is “great news for New England shippers and the national freight network overall.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory review and approval by the Surface Transportation Board.
Norfolk Southern Railway Co., which has a joint venture with Pan Am to operate Pan Am Southern along more than 400 miles of tracks from the Albany, N.Y., area across Massachusetts, said it’s concerned with CSX’s “potential acquisition” of Pan Am.
In a Nov. 6 letter to the Surface Transportation Board, it said one of the main benefits of the joint venture is to strengthen competition with CSX.
“Any [CSX] effort to acquire Pan Am would threaten to materially undermine this existing competition, thus impacting not only Norfolk Southern Railway, but also rail shippers and other railroads,” Norfolk Southern said.
Pan Am’s routes extend from Saint John, New Brunswick, to New York state’s Capital District in Albany. It includes the Springfield Terminal and extends into Northern Maine and New Brunswick.
Primary commodities handled include grain, coal, sand and gravel, food products, lumber, paper and pulp, chemicals and plastics, petroleum, processed minerals, metals, scrap metal, finished automobiles, and intermodal trailers and containers.
Pan Am went into the rail business in 1981 when it was known as Guilford Transportation Industries and purchased the Maine Central Railroad. Guilford bought the bankrupt Boston & Maine railroad in 1983 and in 1998 purchased Pan Am Airways from bankruptcy and revived the airline.
The railroad was rebranded as Pan Am in 2006.
CSX Corp. ranks No. 17 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest global freight carriers.
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