Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu May 15, 2008 9:48 pm

Now we have an official announcement from Norfolk Southern to discuss! Now that we have an official announcement, I closed the old thread full of speculation and supposed scenarios. Feel free to discuss the new joint venture announced today:

Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern Create the Patriot Corridor to Improve Rail Service and Expand Capacity in New York and New England

NORTH BILLERICA, MASS., NORFOLK, VA. – Pan Am Railways (PAR) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) have agreed to create an improved rail route between Albany, N.Y., and the greater Boston, Mass., area called the “Patriot Corridor.” Investments in the Patriot Corridor are expected to improve track quality and customer service, boost train speed and reliability, and increase capacity on the route. PAR and NS each will have a 50 percent interest in the newly formed railroad company, called “Pan Am Southern.”

PAR has agreed to transfer to the joint venture its 155-mile main line track that runs between Mechanicville (Albany), N.Y., and Ayer, Mass., along with 281 miles of secondary and branch lines, including trackage rights, in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. NS has agreed to transfer cash and other property valued at $140 million to the joint venture, $87.5 million of which is expected to be invested within a three-year period in capital improvements on the Patriot Corridor, such as terminal expansions, track and signal upgrades. The companies also anticipate the construction of new intermodal and automotive terminals in the Albany area. PAR’s Springfield Terminal Railway subsidiary has agreed to provide all railroad services for the joint venture.


http://www.nscorp.com/nscportal/nscorp/ ... 508_2.html
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Postby b&m 1566 » Thu May 15, 2008 9:56 pm

I know PAR and NS are waiting for approval from the STB but when it does pass (I'm sure they wouldn't publicly announce it if they didn't think it would pass), I hope they unveil some kind of time line for the planned projects that will take place over the next 3 years.
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Postby shadyjay » Thu May 15, 2008 10:34 pm

So lets break it down.... what does this all mean?
Does this mean they'll divest themselves of the Conn River Line?
Is Pan-Am Southern a cross between Guilford and NS?
Will "PAS" take over all operation in the affected area?
Is the "same old same old" going to be in place to Maine?
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Postby b&m 1566 » Thu May 15, 2008 10:38 pm

It does show that the relationship between NS and Pan Am is on good terms. I was always under the impression that Pan Am/Guilford never got along with NS. Well let me rephrase that, I was under that impression that Pan Am didn’t get along with anyone.
Last edited by b&m 1566 on Thu May 15, 2008 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gprimr1 » Thu May 15, 2008 10:47 pm

I share ShadyJay's question about the Conn River line.

I think it's a matter now of waiting to see until they release any publications on what they plan to do.
Last edited by gprimr1 on Thu May 15, 2008 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu May 15, 2008 10:47 pm

Just a note: We're here to discuss the announcement from NS. I'll remove any comments not related to that topic.
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Postby NHN503 » Thu May 15, 2008 11:50 pm

I'd like to know if the "155" includes the "overhead" on the MBTA track from Fitchburg to Ayer.....I'm guessing it does. That'd take it to about Willows right?

I'd be interested in seeing what of the other 281 miles of branch and secondary track is in NH. This joint venture could be very good for some shortlines in the area.
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Postby sery2831 » Fri May 16, 2008 12:07 am

And there is no mention of Maine in the press release! An oversight?

This is a way to create a new union contract and keep the employees in a position not be able to negotiate. :-(
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Postby johnpbarlow » Fri May 16, 2008 5:00 am

Random thoughts/questions:
I'm curious what the impact of PAS will be on CSX interchange traffic, especially the pair of manifest trains operating between E Deerfield and Rotterdam Jct. As I understand things, these trains convey largely east-west traffic between Maine and the midwest. I don't think NS effectively competes in this lane today as their interchange with PAR comes up from Enola and the south. Perhaps there will be a new NS train pair across the Southern Tier to move e-w manifest traffic?. Will CSX now cause EDRJ/SEED to re-routed over the B&A and away from PAS? I'm guessing that PAR will have to convince CSX/STB that Worcester will remain an important interchange point. It looks like NS will now have a decent-sized classification yard north of Pennsylvania and east of Buffalo. Will P&W now see containers, autos, and ethanol interchanged to PAS/NS via Gardner?
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Postby cpf354 » Fri May 16, 2008 6:15 am

Just saw a map of the proposal. NS would have trackage rights from White River Jct to New Haven, , the Deerfield Loop, all the PAR branch lines in Connecticut and rights on Metro North, the Adams Branch, Mechanicville to Rotterdam Jct, Crescent to Mohwak Yard on the D&H, the Heywood Branch in Gardner, the Greenville Branch at Ayer, the Hill Yard trackage in Ayer from Ayer to Harvard, and PAR's rights on the MBTA Fitchburg Route Main Line from the Willows to Littleton (Kraft Foods is a big customer there). The joint venture would own the main line from Mechanicville to CPF-312, Willows East.
Bottom line-this is strictly west of Ayer. NS doesn't get any trackage rights into Boston, or into Maine. Also, ST operations and management stay in place and continue to run both the joint venture and the balance of the Pan Am system.
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Last edited by cpf354 on Fri May 16, 2008 7:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Noel Weaver » Fri May 16, 2008 8:55 am

Lately the Guilford thread has mostly been rumors and trash but this one
is quite interesting. I think it is going to bring out that the owners of
Guilford have made some good and maybe even brilliant moves in the
management of their railroad.
NS has the financial means to fix up this railroad and bring it up to
present day standards. The grades are more favorable than on the
B & A portion of CSX and they could give CSX a serious run for the
money in so far as freight out of Maine which is probably the best state in
New England for generation of carload traffic.
I recently received an employee timetable of Pan Am Railroad and it is
interesting to review this document. They have a Vice President,
Transportation who was with Conrail and in fact was in Selkirk for a long
time. He originally came from the New Haven Railroad back in the days
and is from a long time railroad family. When I saw this, I thought, here
is a railroad that is poised to go places and I really think they will now.
I don't think it will happen overnight but in time, I think it will.
If I was working for Pan AM, I would feel positive about this one.
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Postby pablo » Fri May 16, 2008 9:11 am

Along the previously mentioned union line, would this be part of the reason for the large layoff recently? Is this so the new company is not beholden to the old contract?

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Postby GRSGuy » Fri May 16, 2008 9:16 am

pablo wrote:Along the previously mentioned union line, would this be part of the reason for the large layoff recently? Is this so the new company is not beholden to the old contract?

Dave Becker


actually, from what I understand, very few, if any, were laid off. I spoke with several transportation employees I'm friendly with across the system, and everyone they knew of was still working.
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Fri May 16, 2008 9:31 am

Here's a tasty PDF from NS with more maps, charts, diagrams, and fun facts:

http://www.nscorp.com/nscportal/nscorp/ ... rridor.pdf

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Postby tj48 » Fri May 16, 2008 10:27 am

Couple of thoughts that came to mind;
1. Is this the 1st step of a total NS takeover of Pan Am?
2. Will you will be seeing a large invasion of black NS engines in New England. And will you see a large amount of Pan Am engines heading for the scrapper?
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