Several media outlets have reported that Pan Am Railways is for sale. The railroad’s principal owner Timothy Mellon is 78 years old and is past retirement age. The western portion of the railroad, making up the former Boston & Maine main line across Massachusetts, is being operated in conjunction with Norfolk Southern, known as the Pan Am Southern. The eastern end of the Pan Am Railways included both B&M and Maine Central routes that link Massachusetts and New Hampshire with Maine. Mellon combined Maine Central with Boston & Maine into Guilford Transportation Industries in 1983, rebranded as Pan Am Railways in 2008.
Although the railroad has lost much of the forest products traffic in Maine, its joint venture Pan Am Southern has brought lucrative double-stack and multilevel traffic to the rails. There has been much speculation as who might be interesting in acquiring the Pan Am. It might not be one party, but could be multiple parties that purchase Pan Am’s assets. Possible suitors include Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific or one of the large shortline holding companies. Stay tuned to Railpace for future developments concerning the sale.