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7/11/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS tacks on rights to Pennsylvania short line's track as part of Northeast volume ramp-up plan


Norfolk Southern Railway recently obtained trackage rights from 314-mile The Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad (RBM&N) for more than 56 track miles between Lehighton and Dupont Junction, Pa.


The Lehigh line rights would enable NS to operate trains directly between Allentown, Pa., and Binghamton, N.Y., where it operates large classification yards.


The transaction is tied to NS' July 2 agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway, under which NS obtained trackage rights to Delaware & Hudson Railway's (D&H) mainline between Sunbury, Pa., and Mechanicville, N.Y., to help increase freight volumes in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and New England.


NS plans initially to reroute two trains between Buffalo, N.Y., and Allentown over D&H's line from Binghamton to Dupont Junction, then RBM&N's line from Dupont Junction to Lehighton, where trains would return to an NS-owned line; CPR already operates several merchandise and intermodal trains over the Lehigh line.


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