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Environmental Matters > Key Cases: Conrail

Conrail Abstract

In this proceeding, CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX), Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) and Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) (collectively, the Applicants) filed a joint application with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) on June 23, 1997. In their application, CSX and NS sought authority to acquire Conrail, and for the subsequent division of most of Conrail's assets and the joint operation of other Conrail assets. Also in their application, the Applicants sought approval for 22 construction projects, 8 trackage rights grants, 5 rail line abandonments, 2 control transactions involving terminal railroads, 1 rail line sale, and 1 joint relocation transaction. The action involved more than 44,000 miles of rail lines and related facilities in most of the eastern United States, including 24 states and the District of Columbia.

In accordance with the Boards responsibilities under environmental laws, the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and a Final Environmental Impact Statement (collectively, EIS). The EIS includes an analysis of the possible environmental effects relative to safety; transportation systems; land and energy use; air quality; noise levels; biological, water, and historical/cultural resources; and socioeconomic factors directly related to possible physical changes in the environment, environmental justice, and historical/cultural resources. The EIS also considers alternatives to the acquisition and related activities, and mitigation measures to avoid or reduce anticipated impacts on the environment.

On July 23, 1998, the Board issued a final written decision, approving with conditions, the Conrail Acquisition, which consolidated the three railroads into two railroads. In that decision, the Board addressed environmental, economic, and competitive transportation issues and imposed several conditions it deemed appropriate, including environmental mitigation conditions. Subsequent to the approval of the transaction, the Board has actively continued to monitor aspects of the Conrail acquisition.

More information regarding this case in Finance Docket No. 33388 is available via the Board's website ( under decisions.

Conrail Final Environmental Impact Statement