In letter to feds, governor backs CSX’s Pan Am acquisition
Deal would ‘bring financial resources to the table for much-needed infrastructure improvements’ in New Hampshire
This week, Gov. Chris Sununu submitted a letter to the Surface Transportation Board, the federal agency charged with reviewing and approving the transaction, saying that the deal would benefit the state.
Patrick Herlihy, director of the state Bureau of Aeronautics, Rail and Transit, said that the bureau reviewed the transaction and advised the governor that “we found no show-stoppers at this point.”
In particular, the governor wrote that CSXT would “provide a continuous, single-line rail service and provide additional resources to market the line,” with the potential of increasing freight service and reducing truck traffic in the region. Less switching and fewer interchanges, along with eliminating transfers between separate rail carriers, would improve operating efficiency, reduce margin for error and ensure consistent service, he wrote.
Referring to discussions with CSX representatives, Sununu anticipated that the transaction “will bring financial resources to the table for much-needed infrastructure improvements throughout Pan Am’s rail network operating in New Hampshire and honor all agreements with shippers, licensees and other entities that may also operate on the line in the future.”
Likewise, the governor said he expects CSX to partner with NHDOT to undertake road, bridge and railroad crossing projects in a timely manner and work cooperatively with railroads operating on state-owned tracks that connect with the Pan Am system.
Herlihy added that conversations with CSX officials have included the “Capitol Corridor,” the Pan Am mainline between Nashua and Concord, where preliminary engineering and design work for providing commuter rail service is currently underway.