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TRANSPORTATION | BRIEFLY

Pact to Divide Conrail Lines Reported Near

March 03, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

The battle over Conrail Inc. could end soon with an agreement to split the company's rail lines between Norfolk Southern Corp. and CSX Corp., the Washington Post reported. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said an agreement could be announced this week if approved by Conrail's board of directors. The plan would divide Conrail roughly in half, while giving all railroads access to major terminal areas, the Post said. It would give both Richmond, Va.-based CSX and Norfolk Southern, headquartered in Norfolk, Va., direct access to New York, which could help them attract cargo away from trucking companies. If the plan is approved by the Surface Transportation Board, Conrail's eastern monopoly would end, and railroad competition would return to major sections of the Northeast for the first time in 29 years. Representatives for the three companies declined to comment. Philadelphia-based Conrail operates an 11,000-mile rail freight network in 12 Northeastern and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia and Quebec.

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