26.April, Washington DC – The Surface Transportation Board invited public comments on the proposed procedural schedule for the sale of Pan Am Railways/Pan Am Southern.
In the STB Decision No. 1 on the original filing for the sale, served and published on 25.March, the Board accepted the February 25 submission as a prefiling notification, thus allowing Applicants to supplement their submission with the requisite information for a “significant” transaction in accordance with the Board’s regulations, between April 25 and June 25.
The Board was expecting to see the updated ‘perfected’ filing on 26.April and had set forth the procedural schedule as published in R&P on Friday, using 26.April as Day 1. While some believed a much different filing could or should be submitted, G&W’s Mike Miller, President of Genesee & Wyoming North America, indicated in comments at the NEARS Spring Conference that G&W (and CSXT) are negotiating with the parties that had filed concerns.
Miller said, “We’ve been working very closely with Vermont Rail System to come up with solutions for their concerns. We think we’re in a good place.”
In response to questions regarding Vermont rail access, Miller reiterated that all connections that VRS has available currently will remain open. At the end of the day, we think the connectivity will be no worse off and, in some cases, better than it is today.
“We’re going to be an independent operator on behalf NS and CSX. We’re going to have to operate just like CSX and NS want us to.”
Miller added that one of the big advantages is redundant routing options. The more options you have, the more resiliency you create. “We think some of the things that were proposed as the CSX acquisition will create a more competitive marketplace. We think NS will be stronger in the New England marketplace.”
“It really creates a really good solution for the New England marketplace. With us being the operator here it creates a level of competition for NS to expand into New England as well. We are a proven operator in this geography. We also have passenger experience.