CSX Agrees to Amtrak Conditions for New England Trains
January 13, 2022
A second significant agreement between Amtrak and a Class I railroad has been announced in as many weeks.
A second significant agreement between Amtrak and a Class I railroad has been announced in as many weeks. In a Jan. 12th filing to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), CSX Transportation announced it will agree to support expanded passenger service in New England in return for Amtrak’s support of the freight railroad’s acquisition of Pan Am Railways.
Specifically, CSX agreed to six of seven conditions outlined by Amtrak in an STB filing, with a proposed revision in response to the seventh condition regarding Albany - Pittsfield service. The conditions Amtrak outlined include respecting the legal right of Amtrak trains to priority dispatching over freight trains; expanding and improving Downeaster service between Maine and Boston; expanding and improving Amtrak service between Albany and Worcester; hosting seasonal Berkshire Flyer trains between Albany and Pittsfield, MA (contingent on the construction of a 1,000-foot station track in Pittsfield); and guaranteeing that that Norfolk Southern trains displaced from Pan Am Southern to CSX’s Boston & Albany mainline will not interfere with current or proposed Amtrak service between Albany and Worcester. Amtrak had threatened to oppose the acquisition unless their conditions were met.
“Rail Passengers is pleased at the amicable resolution that has been reached between CSX and Amtrak, which will be a tremendous benefit to passengers, both in New England and nationally,” said Jim Mathews, Rail Passengers President & CEO. “We applaud the oversight provided by the STB, particularly the leadership provided by Chairman Martin Oberman, which has played a critical role in preserving capacity for current and future passenger rail service in the face of freight rail industry mergers.”
"When [NARP] comes to Washington, you help embolden us in our efforts to continue the progress for passenger rail. And not just on the Northeast Corridor. All over America! High-speed rail, passenger rail is coming to America, thanks to a lot of your efforts! We’re partners in this. ... You are the ones that are going to make this happen. Do not be dissuaded by the naysayers. There are thousands of people all over America who are for passenger rail and you represent the best of what America is about!"
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2012 NARP Spring Council Meeting