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Business and Economy

Railroad Company CSX Files More Information In Pan Am Takeover Quest

CSX railroad
Gene J. Puskar/AP
/
AP
In this Feb. 12, 2018, file photo a CSX freight train passes through Homestead, Pa. CSX Transportation reports financial results Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

The big national railroad company, CSX, has answered a call from federal regulators for more information about the impact of taking over Pan Am Systems. Pan Am, the onetime Guilford Transportation, owns most of the rails in Maine and operates most of the rail freight trains in the state.

An early application for approval by the Surface Transportation Board was met in late May by a demand for more information. Specifically, the regulators determined the proposed acquisition was a "significant transaction." and required CSX to do a "market analysis," that would enable regulators to ensure the takeover wouldn't stifle competition. On July 1, CSX filed its revised application. It included the market analysis the regulators had asked for and repeated the benefits it thought the takeover would bring to shippers. CSX says it would upgrade track to improve speed and use less polluting locomotives. CSX says the acquisition would enable shippers like Maine paper companies, to reach more places via the company's network..

The pending takeover is proving contentious. While CSX has filed 80 letters of support, including one from Maine Senator Susan Collins, Amtrak's President Bill Flynn issued a statement in early June saying the deal would be a "significant threat to the American traveling public." Amtrak often blames host railroads for delays, saying railroad dispatchers give priority to slower-moving freight trains.

If the acquisition goes through, CSX would take over control of the tracks used by Downeaster passenger trains, as well as other inter-city routes Amtrak operates in Massachusetts and northern New England. A final decision from the Surface Transportation board is likely still months away.