top of page


CSX in the real world

  • 1994 While divvying up Conrail with NS, CSX was promising to never negatively impact their short line partners.  Within weeks of closing on the Conrail acquisition, CSX killed off their intermodal connection with a short line partner in Palmer, Mass and took the traffic themselves.

  • 2001 when meeting in the conference room at Worcester’s restored Union Station, CSX and MBTA operational personnel used to have knock-down, dragged-out fights filled w flying F bombs, over who was going to have dispatch priority on the NYC/CSX/MBTA Mainline.

  • 2002 In that same conference room a meeting was held where CSX RE personnel met a reps from 7 communities. CSX wanted to sell off 5 dead branch lines in 7 eastern and central Mass communities through “Rail Banking.” This began a generation’s long, over 16 years of negotiations with communities, over-pricing of the land of dead RRs. 

  • 2006 (approx.) when CSX was blocking pedestrian access to a city park in Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River by parking unitized trains of reeking garbage across the entry gateways into the park. At the same time, they were denying that they would ever allow bike-ped crossing of their active line. CSX knew that there was a bike-ped crossing of one of their active lines 7 miles from their HQ in JAX. A crossing that not only was allowed by them, but designed and built by them.  A video of that trail crossing of an active RR that was shown extensively on TV in Philly.   A few months later CSX agreed to a plan to formalize a safe bike-ped crossing that included agreeing to never park smelly garbage trains on the crossing areas. 

  • 2009 when CSX sold the active mainline from Framingham to Worcester to the state of Mass and refused to include in the sale, the dead corridor in those seven communities.  They wanted to continue their hardball negotiations with the communities for those dead RRs.  They wanted to continue to negotiate w the individual town committees made up of volunteers whose professional careers were outside of the real estate industry.  This was where the CSX professional RE people held the upper hand in negotiations. 

  • 2018 when after 16 years of scorched earth negotiations with the 7 communities for the purchase of the dead RRs  they started putting together deals that were extraordinarily high in values.  One in a suburban community in Eastern Mass was the highest value ever paid for dead RR corridor in the US and it wasn’t an “arm’s length transaction.” That community had an ongoing mitigation fund paid for by a mall developer that was burning a hole in the selectboard’s proverbial pocket.  They over-paid for the dead RR to just move on and get their trail built. (Ribbon-cutting was held in 2021 and it is no longer the most expensive sale of dead RR in the U.S)

  • 2019  when that non, “arms-length” transaction showed up as a comp in a proposed Pam Am Railway sale of the Portsmouth Branch to the state of NH.  The price was almost 30% over the real value.  Lots of of calls and conversations with commercial RE appraisers in the mid-west to get the price reduced and NH was able to purchase it without an artificially inflated pricing.  

bottom of page