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Railfan Hot Rail NewsEdited by the Railfan & Railroad staff
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NS reviews unsolicited bid from CP
November 18th, 2015

Norfolk Southern Corp. announced today they will review the unsolicited $28 billion offer made by Canadian Pacific yesterday. A merger between the two railroads would create a combined company worth $47 billion reaching from the Canadian west coast to the eastern Atlantic Seaboard and down to the Gulf of Mexico. The merger plan is being pushed by CP executive H. Hunter Harrison, backed by activist investor William Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. Reports indicate that Harrison met with NS executive James Squires last week in Florida to discuss the possibility of merger. Squires initial response was cool, citing what he saw as insurmountable regulatory hurdles blocking the way to the creation of a new transcontinental rail shipper.

—Railfan & Railroad

Canadian Pacific explores Norfolk Southern takeover
November 9th, 2015

According to a report released on Bloomberg.com, Canadian Pacific has held early stage merger talks with Norfolk Southern Corp. An earlier attempt by CP to take over CSX was abandoned last year. Canadian Pacific CEO Hunter Harrison advocates a consolidation of the rail industry, and integration with Norfolk Southern would create the first transcontinental carrier.

“There is no material news pending at this time,” Canadian Pacific said in a statement, citing a request from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada that it respond to the day’s stock trading. “CP does not comment on market rumor and speculation.”

Norfolk Southern operates about 20,000 miles through 22 eastern states, while Canadian Pacific’s network spans southern Canada from Montreal to Vancouver, and turns south to connect Midwestern routes with Chicago.

—Railfan & Railroad via Bloomberg News

Maine Central No. 470 Purchased from City
November 6th, 2015

 Courtesy New England Steam Corp.

The New England Steam Corporation formally purchased Maine Central 4-6-2 Pacific No. 470 from the city of Waterville, Maine, in a brief ceremony on November 5. The purchase price of $25,000 was agreed to contingent on NESCo removing the locomotive to an off-site restoration facility. Built by American Locomotive Company in 1924, the No. 470 was retired in 1954. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Maine Central Railroad, the locomotive was donated to the city of Waterville, Maine, location of the railroad's largest shop facility. On display in its current location since 1971, weather and vandals have taken their toll. The next phase of fundraising will pay for movement to the Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth, Maine, where the locomotive will be rebuilt and tested. For more information, please visit http://www.newenglandsteam.org.

—Railfan & Railroad

Norfolk Southern announces cessation of service after December 1
October 21st, 2015

Norfolk Southern released a service alert on October 20 announcing the railroad would no longer accept hazardous shipments after December 1.

"Norfolk Southern Railway Company and its rail operating subsidiaries (“NSR”) will no longer accept shipments of Poisonous-Inhalation-Hazard (“PIH”) commodities, effective Dec. 1, 2015..."

The announcement is a reaction to the federal government's deadline to fully deploy and implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by December 31. The railroads affected have been appealing this deadline and requesting a reasonable extension to comply with the new law.

"These service changes – effective across the entire NS rail network -- are required  to comply with federal safety laws that become effective after Dec. 31, 2015, the government’s deadline for installation of PTC. Despite investment of nearly $1 billion to date, NS will not meet the deadline..."

Scheduled passenger service on NS rails will also be affected. "NS has notified in writing Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express and Metra that passenger trains will not be permitted to operate on NS track after December 31, 2015..."

At press time, neither Congress nor the FRA have given any indication that an extension to the PTC deadline will be granted.

Read the full service notice here: http://www.nscorp.com/content/nscorp/en/service-alerts/notice-of-cessationofserviceeffectivedecember12015forallshipment.html

—Railfan & Railroad via NS Corp.

CSX plans cuts at Corbin
October 20th, 2015

According to local sources, CSX is planning to close the terminal at Corbin, Ky., in response to a declining domestic coal market. This development comes on the heels of last week's sudden closure of the Erwin, Tenn., terminal, located in former Clinchfield coal country.

—Railfan & Railroad

CSX shutters former Clinchfield route in wake of slumping coal market
October 16th, 2015

On October 15, CSX Transportation announced the closure of its terminal in Erwin, Tenn., and the former Clinchfield route due to a reduction in domestic coal exports. It is estimatde that 300 jobs were lost as operations were wrapped up by the end of the week. Some of the employees may be furloughed to other positions in the company.

—Railfan & Railroad

Amtrak Vermonter strikes rockslide, derails, no life-threatening injuries
October 5th, 2015

Amtrak Train 55, the southbound Vermonter traveling from St. Albans, Vt., to Washington, D.C., struck a rockslide betweeen Northfield and Roxbury, Vt., this morning. According to local news reports from WCAX-TV, the derailment occurred near Route 12A and Bull Run Road. The train had just made its station stop in Montpelier and was headed for Randolph when the train struck a landslide and all five cars left the tracks. Emergency crews have responded, with some injured transported by ATV because of the isolated location. Details are still developing at this time.

—Railfan & Railroad

Delaware & Hudson south end shut down in preparation for transfer to Norfolk Southern control
September 18th, 2015

Norfolk Southern operation of the former Delaware & Hudson tracks south of Schenectady, N.Y., to Sunbury, Pa., will commence on September 19. Considered to be one of America's oldest continually operating transportation companies, Canadian Pacific is retaining control of the D&H line that connects Montreal with connections at the Port of Albany, N.Y.

From the Norfolk Southern web site:

As previously announced, the Surface Transportation Board has granted approval for Norfolk Southern to purchase certain portions of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad.  As a result, NS will begin to operate these lines at 12:01am on Saturday, September 19, 2015.  In order to prepare for this, D&H will cease all operations on the impacted lines effective 5:00pm Friday, September 18th  through 12:00am Saturday, September 19th.  All train operations will experience a complete shutdown during this time until rail operations are systematically brought back on line.

—Railfan & Rairoad via Norfolk Southern

Claremont & Concord to become part of Genesee & Wyoming
August 10th, 2015

Genesee & Wyoming Industries adds a few more miles to its growing international short line empire with the announcement of the intention to purchase New Hampshire operation Claremont & Concord. A former Boston & Maine branch dating back to 1848 and known for its fleet of Alco switchers, the railroad will be acquired by GWI subsidiary New England Central, which connects at White River Junction, Vermont. Current operations are centered around White River Junction and West Lebanon. There has been no definite timetable announced regarding when the acquisition and integration would be completed.

—Railfan & Railroad

CP Chairman Resigns in Boardroom Gaffe
July 23rd, 2015

According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, Chairman Gary Colter announced his resignation from Canadian Pacific’s board of directors on July 21 following “disagreements relating to corporate goverance matters” according to president Keith Creel. Company director Andrew F. Reardon has succeeded Colter as chairman.

According to to railroad officials, Colter “caused the company to issue a press release” announcing the departure of director Stepehen Tobias on June 29 though he had not notified the chairman of his plans until July 3. The release made the announcement even though the board took no official action on Tobias’ offer to resign.

The announced resignation date is important because it determines whether CP is considered an American or Canadian company in the eyes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a release, CP is no longer eligible for the SEC’s Foreign Private Issuer Exemption and will become a U.S. Issuer in 2016.

Colter had chaired the board for about a year following the 2012 boardroom coup spearheaded by activist investor William Ackerman, whose hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management is the railroad’s largest shareholder.

—Railfan & Railroad


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