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CP: CSX-Pan Am merger threatens competition on Hoosac Tunnel route

Pan Am owns and operates a nearly 1,200-mile network and has a partial interest in the more than 600-mile Pan Am Southern rail system.
Photo – Pan Am Railways


In an Aug. 27 filing with the Surface Transportation Board, Canadian Pacific expressed concern about the impact the proposed CSX-Pan Am Railways Inc. merger would have on rail capacity and competition in New England.

In particular, CP asserts the merger would threaten rail competition along on the former Boston & Maine (B&M) Hoosac Tunnel route, which is now part of the Pan Am Southern (PAS) joint venture between Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern Railway. PAS is a subsidiary of Pan Am Railways.

The vast majority of CP’s traffic to and from New England moves via the Mechanicville, New York, route and the Hoosac Tunnel route.

In order to access shippers in the heart of New England from the west, CP and its shippers depend on the parallel routes of CSX and PAS from Upstate New York to eastern Massachusetts: CSX’s route from Albany, which CSX refers to as the “Southern route,” and PAS’s former B&M mainline, which crosses the Berkshire Mountains via the Hoosac Tunnel, according to CP’s filing.

"These CSX and PAS routes are head-to-head competitive alternatives, and they are the only viable rail routes into New England from the west," CP officials say in the filing.

"Without competition preserving conditions, the proposed transaction would permanently alter this landscape, with potentially adverse long-term consequences for rail capacity and competition," the filing states. "By acquiring Pan Am, CSX would simultaneously achieve control of the railroad that operates PAS and acquire a 50% interest in PAS itself."

To read the entire CP filing, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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