"The choice for Applicants is clear – present a truly competitive alternative, or face rejection of the application."
27.August, Montpelier VT – Vermont DOT (Vtrans, representing the State of Vermont) filed a stern Comment in Opposition to the CSX Revised Application to acquire Pan Am Systems. On the same day, Vermont Rail Systems filed their equally indignant Reply in Opposition to Pittsburgh & Shawmut’s (subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming) Petition for Exemption to […]
Just When it Seemed Like the Line was Clear, The Department of Justice Throws up a Yellow Signal
26.August, Washington DC – A Comment submitted by the U.S. Department of Justice under STB Docket #36472 conveys the Administration’s explicit distaste for a major part of CSX’s plan for Pan Am Railways, the carefully-crafted proposal for a G&W subsidiary to operate the Pan Am Southern system. The Comment’s very first line cites the 09.July […]
High-powered Opposition Hits CSX/Pan Am Prospects
27.August, Washington DC – The deadline for descriptions of anticipated (including inconsistent) responsive applications filing brought a tsunami of filings, including Comments in opposition from the U.S. Department of Justice, Amtrak, State of Vermont (VTrans), Vermont Rail System, and Comments and Request for Conditions from Mass Water Resource Authority (MWRA) and Mass Department of Transportation/MBTA. Opposition […]
Most of Amtrak's network operates as a tenant on freight railroad tracks.
How was your Amtrak trip? Ask that question and you’ll get an answer that goes “Nice . . . ” followed by a report of an on-time train or a “but . . . ” and the details of what happened instead. On-Time performance is the #1 expectation from rail passengers. This is intuitively obvious, […]
Maine ports stand to benefit from development of offshore wind generation, but must overcome persistent personnel shortages
15.August, August ME – The State of Maine Governor’s Energy Office has contracted the Xodus Group to undertake an Offshore Wind Supply Chain and Workforce Opportunity Assessment (State of Maine RFP# 202105074), as an initial step toward developing Maine’s offshore wind assets. The Assessment is part of the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap initiative, and will consume ~$300,000 of […]
CSX's Wallace responds to STB request for additional information on traffic forecasting in the Revised Application
19.August – CSX filed a response by EVP Mark Wallace to the Board’s request in Decision #4 (30.July.2021) for additional information, to wit: So that the Board can fully evaluate whether the impact of the Merger and Related Transactions would have any potential for environmental impacts warranting environmental review when the PAR System integration has occurred, the […]
The Madison Branch's abandonment is no surprise
Update#2 – 11.August.2021 11.August.2021, Washington DC – The STB Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission have determined that separate conditions imposed in the 08.July Decision to conditionally approve the abandonment are satisfied. OEA concluded that the abandonment is exempt from Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act, and the HPC […]
UPDATE 2 – 19.August.2021 19.August, Thomaston ME – Dragon Cement, one of three industrial shippers on the Maine Rockland Branch, will cease shipping cement east via rail to Rockland’s South End terminal, beginning 2022. Dragon has used the terminal to load cement on to barges for short-sea shipping to Boston and other locations. Dragon will […]
President Biden’s 09.July executive order On Promoting Competition in the American Economy targets corporate consolidation and anticompetitive behavior in the freight-rail and ocean shipping industries (among others). In his recent article, One If By Land, Two If By Sea, Manhattan Institute fellow Connor Harris asserts that, regulations that subsidize trucking while raising costs on heavy […]
New England is appropriately deemed “energy hungry,” but we have a lot to choose from on the menu.
Strong resistance to new pipeline construction in New England and downstate New York has been touted as an opportunity to develop a robust LNG-by-rail “virtual pipeline” to bring Marcellus natural gas to “energy starved New England. Despite a 2020 Presidential directive and subsequent USDOT rulemaking to encourage LNG-by-rail to New England, the mode needle has […]