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Pan Am Southern employment to fall in CSX acquisition of Pan Am Railways

By Bill Stephens | March 4, 2021

Operator Genesee & Wyoming anticipates 25% reduction in manpower

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Large table showing PanAm Southern jobs to be lost in transition to CSX ownership.
A table shows planned employment changes for Pan Am Southern under Genesee & Wyoming operation. CSX, via Surface Transportation Board

WASHINGTON — CSX Transportation’s proposed acquisition of New England regional Pan Am Railways will have a significant impact on employment levels at Pan Am Southern, the joint venture it will share with Norfolk Southern.

Genesee & Wyoming, which has been designated the neutral operator of Pan Am Southern, estimates that it can run the railroad with 25% fewer employees than current operator Springfield Terminal, according to a CSX regulatory filing posted to the Surface Transportation Board website on Wednesday.

Overall, Pan Am Southern employment will drop to 159 employees from the current 214. The biggest cuts are to maintenance of way, which will be halved, and the shop and signals workforce in East Deerfield, Mass., where employment will fall by more than a third.

The Pan Am Southern consists of about 425 miles of rail lines and trackage rights routes, including the former Boston & Maine main line between Mechanicville, N.Y., and Ayer, Mass., that provides NS access to New England via its so-called Patriot Corridor. Pan Am Southern also includes the north-south route Pan Am uses between White River Junction, Vt., and its branches in Connecticut via Springfield, Mass.

Pan Am Southern will lose the daily pair of NS intermodal and automotive trains that run between Mechanicville and Ayer. The trains will shift to trackage rights on CSX’s parallel Boston & Albany route and will reach Ayer via Providence & Worcester and Pan Am trackage north of Worcester, Mass.

Genesee & Wyoming will operate and maintain Pan Am Southern under its Pittsburg & Shawmut subsidiary, which will do business as Berkshire & Eastern. Three of G&W’s New England railroads — New England Central, Providence & Worcester, and Connecticut Southern — connect with Pan Am Southern.

NS had sought a neutral operator for Pan Am Southern. CSX and NS will jointly own Pan Am Southern, with NS retaining its 50% share and CSX acquiring Pan Am Railways’ stake. CSX has agreed to sell its stake within seven years if NS “or its assignee” wishes to buy out CSX.

Pan Am subsidiary Springfield Terminal also operates Pan Am Railways. CSX, in its 375-page merger application filed last week, said it “does not anticipate any adverse impacts on Springfield Terminal craft employees allocated to the PAR System.”

That has surprised some observers, who note that duplicate facilities — such as Pan Am’s headquarters in North Billerica, Mass., and the locomotive and car shops in Waterville, Maine — are typically rationalized in end-to-end mergers.

5 thoughts on “Pan Am Southern employment to fall in CSX acquisition of Pan Am Railways

  1. I’ll give the former B&M west end (Ayer to Hoosick Jct) 5 years before it gets torn up.
    Taking off the NS auto and intermodal trains leaves it with what?
    I’m surprised it has survived this long given the slash and burn methods of Mellon and the Finks.

  2. Mr. Vincent, I don’t want to make predictions and I won’t discount yours. But NS only gets one train in each direction per day via CSX. And I think the Hoosac Tunnel is cleared for autoracks. So NS might keep the autos on the PAS. And the CSX Pan Am interchange trains, Q426/427 might migrate to the PAS route as well. And I think NS operates a manifest train pair on the PAS. Seems to me only if there was restoration of all or most of the capacity Conrail ripped out could the Berkshire Sub handle what it has now plus more NS trains, assuming new agreements are put in place.

  3. Thanks csx. Once again you stick it to the mow employees so you can have scabs do all out work!

  4. There have been 3 major derailments on Pan Am after the track was rebuilt. They just put in a major signal system upgrade (I think with state money), and now they are going to cut maintenance in those areas. Makes sense?

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