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Conrail

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox SGRailroad Conrail, officially known as the Consolidated Rail Corporation, is an American railroad company. It currently serves as a local carrier for CSX and Norfolk Southern; this arrangement is often referred to as Conrail Shared Assets Operations, the basis of the current reporting mark CSAO. Until June 6, 1998, Conrail owned a much bigger network of rails; on that date, most of the system was split between CSX (42%) and Norfolk Southern (58%). The three areas still owned by Conrail were kept to avoid giving one railroad an advantage in those areas.

Contents

History

Conrail was formed in 1976 by the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act under federal government auspices to take over and rebuild the deteriorated phyical assets of six bankrupt north-eastern railroads:

Commencing operations on April 1, 1976, the theory was that if the service was improved through increased capital investment, the economic basis of the railroad would be improved. Although Conrail's government-funded rebuilding of the heavily run-down railroad infrastructure and rolling stock it inherited from its six bankrupt predecessors succeeded by the end of the 1970s in improving the physical condition of tracks, locomotives and freight cars, the fundamental economic regulatory issues remained, and Conrail continued to post losses of as much as $1 million a day. Conrail management, recognizing the need for more regulatory freedoms to address the economic issues, were among the parties lobbying for what became the Staggers Act of 1980, which significantly loosened the Interstate Commerce Commission's rigid economic control of the rail industry. This allowed Conrail and other carriers the opportunity to become profitable and strengthen their finances. Conrail began turning a profit by 1981, the result of the Staggers Act freedoms and its own managerial improvements.

After considerable debate in Congress, the US government sold its controlling interest in Conrail in 1987 for $1.9 billion in the largest initial public stock offering in the nation's history at that time.

With Conrail's increasing success, two eastern rail competitors of Conrail engaged in a takeover battle to control the railroad. In 1997, however, the two railroads, Norfolk Southern and CSX, struck a compromise agreement to jointly acquire Conrail and split most of its assets between the two larger railroads. The buyout was approved by the Surface Transportation Board (successor agency to the Interstate Commerce Commission) and took place on June 6, 1998.

As part of the buyout, two companies were formed, New York Central Lines to handle the lines given to CSX and Pennsylvania Lines to handle the lines given to Norfolk Southern.

In three major metropolitan areas -- Detroit, Philadelphia/Camden, and Newark/Northern New Jersey -- CSX and Norfolk Southern restructured Conrail to serve as a terminal operating company. This smaller Conrail today serves rail freight customers in these markets on behalf of its two owners.

Existing lines

The three areas still owned by Conrail are known as Conrail Shared Assets Operations, and use the current AAR reporting mark CSAO.

Detroit operations

Northern New Jersey operations

Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey operations

This area operates out of Pavonia Yard in Camden, New Jersey.

Delair Bridge

The south track at the Delair lift bridge (part of the Trenton Line) is used by Conrail; the north track is used by New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Line (using trackage rights from Conrail).

See also

External links

Template:North America class 1de:Conrail

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