ON JANUARY 20, Norfolk Southern and CSX announced that they had set June 1 as the target date to implement their $10bn takeover and breakup of Conrail. The so-called Day 1 had been anticipated last September, but when the two railways took control of Conrail on August 23 there were suggestions that the breakup would be delayed to ensure a smooth transition, avoiding the computer, safety and service problems that marred the UP/SP merger.

The railways said that ’customer service planning, capital improvement projects, employee training and labour implementing agreements (were) now largely complete’, computer systems integration was under way, and they believed they have allowed ample time for a seamless transfer. From Day 1 NS will acquire 11600 km of Conrail routes and CSX will assume control of 6500 km.