CSX seeks a shorter route to Montréal
USA: Proposals seeking regulatory approval of a shared use agreement that would improve freight operations in the corridor linking New York City and Montréal have been filed with the Surface Transportation Board by CSX Transportation and Canadian Pacific subsidiary Delaware & Hudson.
Under the proposed agreement, CSX would move its north-south traffic over the shorter D&H route between Albany and the Canadian border at Rouses Point, as an alternative to its Massena Line which runs from Syracuse in New York state to Huntingdon in Québec. According to CSX, this arrangement would cut the distance between Albany and Montréal by around 35% and improve transit times by more than 45%, with a saving of around 645 million gross tonne-km. In return, D&H would make more use of its trackage rights between Albany and Fresh Pond, NY, which have already been approved by the STB.
In their submission, the two companies claim that the proposal would strengthen their competitive capabilities by allowing both CSX and D&H to operate more efficiently and offer better service. Using the shorter corridor for traffic moving between eastern Canada and the eastern USA would also help to reduce fuel consumption.
Under the proposed agreement, D&H would operate all trains between Saratoga Springs and Rouses Point, but both railways would run their own trains between Albany and Saratoga Springs. CSX would handle D&H freight between Albany, The Bronx and Queens, enabling D&H to offer significantly greater service frequency between Montréal and New York City.
Even if through services are re-routed, both railways have committed to continue local freight service to all existing customers, including those along the Massena Line. According to the submission, ‘no shipper will lose a competitive rail option as a result of the proposed transaction’.