Employees to Vote on Berkshire & Eastern Implementation Agreement

The Final Hours: Pan Am Railways SPED (Springfield to East Deerfield, Mass.) passes through Holyoke, Mass., at 10:27 p.m. on May 31, 2022, not long before CSX Transportation took over the New England regional. Photo by Justin Winiarz. 

Employees to Vote on Berkshire & Eastern Implementation Agreement

By Justin Franz

AYER, Mass. — On February 14, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen sent ballots to members employed by Pan Am Railways affiliate Springfield Terminal so they could vote on an implementation agreement that will clear the way for Genesee & Wyoming to takeover over much of the former Boston & Maine. 

As part of CSX’s takeover of PAR in 2022, the Class I agreed to have G&W operate Pan Am Southern, a joint venture with Norfolk Southern that includes much of the former Boston & Maine west of Ayer, Mass. G&W plans to operate the main line across western Massachusetts and eastern New York, along with branches into Connecticut and Vermont, as the Berkshire & Eastern. The new railroad will operate on about 425 miles of track, according to the union. 

The implementation agreement addresses changes in operations resulting from the transaction as well as figures out which employees will stay with CSX and which will go to the B&E. Ballots were due back by March 10. 

Since CSX took over Pan Am last year, it has been operating Pan Am Southern much as it did when the regional was independent. The Class I has been tightlipped about when it would finally hand over PAS to G&W (the railroad did not respond to a request for comment earlier this year). However, the implementation agreement vote would seem to suggest that the changeover could happen in the coming months. 

A number of former Pan Am locomotives are expected to be transferred to the B&E once the deal is done. 

This article was posted on: February 16, 2023