A strike by 3 400 line maintenance workers shut down Conrail for several hours on Friday, until a federal judge ordered strikers back to work late in the day. The workers were unhappy that Conrail had contracted out their work. (August 18th, 1998, more at CNN and the Philadelphia Inquirer)

The STB has formally approved the carve-up of Conrail in the northeastern United States. This written approval follows an oral approval last month. (July 27th, 1998)

Twenty-one cars with propane in a Conrail train derailed late on Friday the 20th about 20 miles west of Pittsburgh. No leaks were reported. (March 22nd, 1998, more here)

The last battleground in the Conrail breakup appears to be Cleveland. Increasing traffic, as well as the Conrail breakup, has the railroads rerouting trains and building new links. But neither the suburbs nor the inner city want any more trains. The rairoads warn of "another Houston", ie an inefficient local rail network. (March 12th, 1998, more here)

The STB has imposed safety conditions on CSX and Norfolk Southern as part of approving the companies' acquisition of Conrail. An extra 45 days has been granted to the railroads to comply, which puts the decision date in May next year. (November 6th, 1997, more here)

The two big Canadian railways have asked the Surface Transportation Board to guarantee them track access in certain areas after the Conrail merger. Many of the issues raised by CP and CN concerned areas where CSX and Norfolk Southern will have joint control after they buy split up and buy Conrail. (August 31st, 1997, source TRAINS Newsline)

Another obstacle to the Conrail takeover has been cleared with an agreement between Canadian National and CSX to co-ordinate operations in Buffalo and Chicago, and to start quoting through rates for new movements on each other's network. CN has earlier promised to "take necessary steps" to ensure its access to the New York market in the face of the Conrail merger. CSX and Norfolk Southern have recently effectively bought the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway, which may otherwise have been a spanner in the works of the merger.
"As a result of this agreement with CSX, CN will now support the Conrail acquisition by CSX," CN's president Paul Tellier said on Friday. (August 24th, 1997, more here)

CSX and Norfolk Southern have offered to buy 10% each of the Delaware Otsego railway, which owns a competitor to Conrail in the New York City area (the Susquehanna & Western). CSX and NS are also lending $31 million to Mr. Walter Rich, Delaware Otsego's CEO, to buy the other 80% of Delaware Otsego. An analyst told the The Wall Street Journal that this move smoothens the authorities' approval of CSX and NS takeover of, but also closes out other railways from the huge New York market. (August 12th, 1997, source: paper edition of The Globe and Mail)

Increased safety may be a condition for approval of the Conrail takeover, people the Department of Transportation have said to the Washington Post. Protests against the merger should be registered with the STB by October 21st, 1997. (August 5th, 1997, source TRAINS Newsline)

The Conrail aquisition threatens our north-south traffic, says the boss of Canadian National, Paul Tellier. Claiming that switching charges in Conrail's marshalling yard by the border in Buffalo (south of Toronto) are twice as high as the American national average, Tellier called for more competition there. Services to, from and in the USA count for 40% of CN's revenues and are growing by 10% per year. Since 1988, barriers to trade between USA and Canada have successivly been lowered or eliminated under the Free Trade Agreement and later the North American Free Trade Agreement, which also includes Mexico. (July 21st, 1997)

The Surface Transportation Board will take 350 days to decide wether to approve CSX and Norfolk Southern's plans to divide up Conrail among them. This is in line with the amount of time taken for other approvals, except the UP-SP merger which took 255 days. (June 11th, 1997)

Conrail is now 100% owned by CSX and Norfolk Southern, and shares not owned by them or the new CSX-NS-owned Conrail Inc. will be converted to rights to $115 per share. This marks the end to a dramatic take-over battle which started on October 15th, 1997, when CSX made an 8,4 billion dollar bid for Conrail. (June 4th, 1997)

The Canadian Pacific Railway and Norfolk Southern have agreed to exchange trackage rights if the STB approves NS and CSX plans to buy Conrail. The lines in question are the CPR's St Lawrence and Hudson Railway between Harrisburg PA & Albany NY, and Conrail's (soon NS) Detroit-Chicago corridor. (May 15th, 1997)

Norfolk Southern and CSX have agreed to divide Conrail between them. NS will buy 58% and CSX 42% at $115 a share, and both will get their own direct lines New York City-Chicago, NYC-St Louis and NYC-the South. An application will be submitted to the Surface Transportation Board and it is hoped STB will "consider the application on an expidited schedule". The companies have been negotiating more or less in secret for over two months and there have been reports that at least one other company will get trackage rights to NYC. (April 9th, 1997)

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