Amtrak CEO opposes CSX-Pan Am Railways deal

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Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said Friday the company opposes CSX Transportation’s acquisition of New England regional Pan Am Railways because the deal, in its current form, ‘represents a significant threat to the American traveling public” and “will negatively impact current passenger train service and future routs in Massachusetts and Northern New England.”

In a statement, Flynn urged the Surface Transportation Board to consider passenger service as it reviews the CSX-Pan Am deal. An Amtrak filing on May 17 indicated the passenger railroad’s concern over the transaction and its intent to participate in the proceeding.

“As currently proposed, the acquisition of Pan Am by CSX represents a significant threat to the American traveling public which relies on Amtrak and our state partners to deliver frequent, reliable and sustainable intercity passenger rail service,” Flynn said in his statement to the Surface Transportation Board. “Unfortunately, we believe the proposed merger, in its proposed form, will negatively impact current passenger train service and future routes in Massachusetts and Northern New England that are identified in the Amtrak Corridor Vision. Our goal, as outlined in the vision, to provide new rail service to over 160 more communities and 20 million more passengers annually by 2035 aligns with the Biden administration’s infrastructure investment blueprint, and any merger’s impacts on this goal should be considered by the Surface Transportation Board during its review.”

Flynn said Amtrak’s primary consideration was to ensure on-time performance of Amtrak trains of affected routes and ensure that the railroad company would have a good partner in improving and expanding existing state-supported and long-distance routes.

In response, CSX said, “CSX commits to maintaining or improving existing service on Pan Am both as to customers and passenger service. We are confident that the pro-competitive acquisition of Pan Am will bring significant benefits to stakeholders in the Northeastern United States and beyond.”