CSX: MA Rep. Neal Raps PAR Merger

Three of the region's highest traffic lines run through Rep. Neal's First Massachusetts District.

Three of the region’s highest traffic lines run through Rep. Neal’s First Massachusetts District. Successful commuter service has been implemented on the Conn River line between New Haven CT and Springfield MA, and is creeping toward Greenfield. An East-West route connecting Pittsfield – Springfield – Worcester -Framingham – Boston along the CSX B&A has not progressed beyond planning. CSX is not considered to be entirely cooperative in the development of an East-West service, or with the politicians advocating for it.

09.July, Washington DC – U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts registered a strenuous complaint against the prospective CSX/PAR “merger.” In his letter to the STB, Neal casts numerous aspersions that CSX’s stewardship of the PAS lines running through his MA First District will degrade them beneath Pan Am’s standard.

Rep. Neal did not present much evidence to support his assertions, other than that CSX has not been as responsive as a Congressional leader might expect. CSX has played a tough game in Massachusetts, contributing to the lack of progress towards an East-West passenger service.

Dear Mrs. Brown,

I write in strong opposition to CSX Transportation’s purchase of Pan-Am Railways. The acquisition of Pan-Am Railways by CSX Transportation will significantly impact a number of regional interests not only in the First District of Massachusetts, but throughout the New England region. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the resulting implications of this purchase be taken into account.

In, the proposed merger would greatly affect transit activity in [Massachusetts] communities … the [MBTA, and] the MassDOT section of the Knowledge Corridor … . With a new operator … the threat of compromised services and a decrease in spending to maintain and improve the line is daunting.

[The] environmental impact … must also be [considered]. [The Transaction] will increase operations over the Wachusett Reservoir … [Air pollution will constitute] a major threat to this fresh water supply.

With the purchase of Pan-Am Railways, CSX will [expand] its operations across Massachusetts, Connecticut, … New York, … Maine, New Hampshire, and Ve1mont … expanding its influence in the New England region. As the Biden Administration seeks to make historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure, ensuring fair [rail] competition … is a critical aspect of our efforts to grow and expand regional economies.

… I have expressed a number of concerns with CSX [but] CSX has been unresponsive to my many requests … I had hoped that CSX would seek to cooperate with regional officials, stakeholders, and residents to address such concerns and ensure frequent and reliable rail services throughout the area. However, CSX has failed to live up to this responsibility.

Considering the repercussions [of] CSX’s purchase of [PAR] and its impact on my district, along with my previous experience in attempting to work with CSX, I believe it is in the best interest of the greater New England region to oppose this acquisition… .

Sincerely,

Richard E. Neal