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By Pat Foran, Editor
As our July issue went to press, the proposed CN-Kansas City Southern combination continued to wend its way through the merger process while KCS suitor Canadian Pacific remained hopeful about a combination with its “politically savvy reading of the tea leaves,” as independent transportation analyst Tony Hatch put it. Plus, CSX posted progress with a major acquisition of its own.
On July 2, CSX submitted an amended and supplemented application to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) as part of its previously announced agreement to acquire Pan Am Railways Inc. Pan Am owns and operates a nearly 1,200-mile network in New England and has a partial interest in the more than 600-mile Pan Am Southern system.
The amended application provides all of the additional details of the proposed transaction requested by the STB in a May 26 ruling. The expanded application explains the benefits of the proposed acquisition for stakeholders in New England and beyond, said CSX President and Chief Executive Officer James Foote in a press release.
Pan Am’s network accesses multiple ports and serves several large-scale commodity producers. The acquisition would expand CSX’s reach in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, while adding trackage in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to the Class I’s existing 23-state network.
Over the next five years, CSX would upgrade and modernize the Pan Am system if the deal is approved. In addition, the Class I would operate Pan Am with a smaller, more reliable and more fuel-efficient fleet, significantly reducing fuel consumption and improving rail’s environmental footprint in the region, CSX officials said.
At AllianceBernstein’s 37th annual Strategic Decisions Conference held virtually on June 3, Foote said he believed the Pan Am acquisition will gain regulatory approval sometime in early 2022, pending the STB’s review process.
CSX already has capped off another intriguing acquisition. On July 1, the Class I announced it officially acquired Quality Carriers Inc. — a bulk liquid chemicals truck transportation provider — from Quality Distribution Inc. The deal establishes the first integrated multimodal chemical transportation solution, CSX officials said.
The League of Railway Women (LRW) is seeking nominations for the 2021 Railway Woman of the Year award, which is co-sponsored by Progressive Railroading.
Since 1998, the annual award has honored a woman who exhibits leadership and excellence, and supports the personal and professional growth of others in the rail industry.
Past winners include Metrolink’s Stephanie Wiggins (2020), Canadian Pacific's Pam Arpin (2019), Ontario Northland’s Corina Moore (2018), Transportation Technology Center Inc.’s Lisa Stabler (2017), MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Anamaria Bonilla (2016) and Metrolinx/GO Transit’s Mary Proc (2015).
"Over the last 18 months, transformational leaders have emerged from all areas of our industry, as we have all had to roll up our sleeves to battle this pandemic," said LRW President Amanda Trainor Patrick in a press release. "The ways in which rail business practices have adapted and evolved, innovations emerged and supply chains redefined, were led in short by our industry’s greatest female leaders. We find them working alongside us, at our suppliers, short lines, Class Is, manufacturers and many others. It is their leadership that saw us through the dark days and gave us hope for better days ahead."
The 2021-22 Railway Woman of the Year Advisory Committee will assist LRW Awards Chair Lisa Tackach in selecting this year's winner. The award requirements have been updated "to better reflect the leadership demonstrated during these unprecedented times," Tackach said.
Nominations and self-nominations are now being accepted on the LRW website. The deadline to nominate someone is Sept. 13.
This year’s award recipient will be notified on or before Sept. 30. The award will be presented during a live virtual event this fall.