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Pan Am Railways is now part of CSX

CSX eyeing growth opportunities in Northeast

A Pan Am Railways heads to its next destination. (Photo: Shutterstock/Jonelle DeFelice)

New England short line Pan Am Railways is now officially part of CSX.

Jacksonville, Florida-headquartered CSX has completed its acquisition of Pan Am, which the railroad says will expand CSX’s reach into the rapidly growing Northeast region. 

The Surface Transportation Board approved CSX’s request to acquire Pan Am about six weeks ago. CSX first announced plans to acquire Pan Am in November 2020. 

“We are excited to welcome Pan Am’s experienced railroaders into the CSX family and look forward to the improvements we will make together to this important rail network in New England, bringing benefits to all users of rail transportation in the Northeast region,” said CSX President and CEO Jim Foote in a release. “This acquisition demonstrates CSX’s growth strategy through efficient and reliable freight service and will provide sustainable and competitive transportation solutions to New England and beyond.”

While shippers largely supported the acquisition, saying CSX’s plans to improve Pan Am’s infrastructure will benefit the region, CSX’s application before the board raised the broader issue of how the federal government should address or balance calls to expand passenger rail service with the needs of freight railroads. Passenger rail service often uses tracks owned by the freight railroads, particularly in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, and freight railroads must give deference to passenger rail service in the use of tracks, per federal mandate.

CSX said at a January hearing before STB that it doesn’t anticipate any job losses from the acquisition. Pan Am operates Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Prior to the acquisition, CSX didn’t have direct access to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The acquisition also expands CSX’s presence in Massachusetts.

Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Acting as financial adviser for the deal was Goldman Sachs, while Steptoe & Johnson provided regulatory counsel and Davis Polk & Wardwell served as transactional counsel. 

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.