CSX Corp. announced today that it reached agreement with the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (“NNEPRA”), one of New England’s largest passenger rail trade authorities to support its planned merger with Pan Am Railways Inc. (Pan Am).
Following the submission of this agreement with the STB, “NNEPRA will file with the STB in support of the approval of the Application,” wrote the association’s executive director Patricia Quinn. NNEPRA’s support for the transaction is significant given NNEPRA’s role as the primary state sponsor of Amtrak’s Downeaster passenger rail service between Brunswick, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts. A copy of the agreement filed with the STB can be viewed here.
CSX President and CEO James M. Foote said, “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to work collaboratively with all stakeholders and to maintain or improve passenger service in the region.”
The Maine-based NNEPRA’s support joins that of Maine Governor Janet Mills who recently filed a letter with the STB enthusiastically voicing support for the merger. Gov. Mills, in her letter, wrote in part, that, “This transaction has the potential to bring substantial benefits to Maine. The state of Maine relies on rail traffic to deliver goods and support our economy. If the transaction is approved, CSX has indicated that it will make upgrades to track and locomotives to provide improved service, extend positive train control on Amtrak’s Downeaster, and make other improvements to the rail network. These changes would benefit Maine businesses and shippers that rely on freight rail to ship products and goods and positively impact passenger rail service.”
The transaction will provide significant benefits to shippers, passenger rail users, and local communities as CSX integrates Pan Am into its best-in-class network. In particular, as CSX connects more of New England with its existing 23-state network, which serves two thirds of the nation’s population, CSX’s expected investment in infrastructure upgrades will improve freight and passenger rail service and further enhance the environmental sustainability of rail transportation in New England by shifting truck traffic off the highway. On Friday, July 30, the STB accepted CSX’s revised application, which was filed earlier last month as part of an agreement to acquire Pan Am Railways.