NS-Pan Am Joint Venture in Northeast Wins STB Approval

The Surface Transportation Board has approved joint control and ownership of Pan Am Southern LLC (PAS), a new railroad, by Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS), Pan Am Railways, Inc. (PARI), and two PARI subsidiaries. The board found that the transaction, along with its related operational agreements, should produce substantial transportation benefits to the New England region of the U.S.

NS is a Class I railroad, while Pan Am Railways is a regional railroad operating about 2,000 route miles in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Atlantic Canada.

PAS will operate approximately 437 miles of track, including an east-west section called the Patriot Corridor between points in New York and Massachusetts, and a north-south section between Vermont and Connecticut. NS has committed to invest $87.5 million into PAS for infrastructure improvements in order to improve traffic flows and expand capacity. PAS would use part of that capital to remove long‑term slow orders along the Patriot Corridor and to add capacity and clearances along that line for better traffic flow.  PAS would also use a portion of the capital to create new, or expand existing, transloading capacity at three locations:  a new intermodal and automotive facility at Mechanicville, NY;  an expanded intermodal facility at Ayer, MA; and a new automotive facility near Ayer at San Vel.

The agency imposed limited conditions on the transaction, including conditions to minimize potential adverse environmental effects and standard labor-protective conditions.

The board issued its decision in Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Pan Am Railways, Inc., et al.-Joint Control and Operating/Pooling Agreements-Pan Am Southern LLC, STB Finance Docket No. 35147.