Report: Pan Am Railways is for sale

Monitor staff
Published: 7/1/2020 7:15:54 PM

The largest railroad company in New Hampshire, which operates the freight rail line running along the Merrimack River from Massachusetts to Concord, is for sale, according to an industry newsletter.

Trains Industry Newsletter reported this week that Pan Am Railways, which operates on 121 miles of track in New Hampshire, is for sale. It is the largest regional railroad in North America, running 1,700 miles of track in the Northeast.

Few details were available.

The news comes as Southern New England Railroad, an independent firm that carries freight on 73 miles of track from Concord north to Lincoln, is preparing to be sold to United Rail, a Vermont operator of so-called short line railroads around the region.

Pan Am Railways was created in the early 1980s as part of industry reconfiguration following the bankruptcy of the Boston & Maine company. In 1998 it bought the rights to the Pan Am name, most famous for the international airline that eventually went bankrupt.

It is headquartered in Billerica, Mass., and provides freight but no passenger service in New England and New York.

Among its track in New Hampshire it runs the Seacoast used by the Amtrak Downeaster as well as the New Hampshire Main Line, which runs 42 miles from the Massachusetts border to Concord.

For a few years it operated a regional air carrier at Pease International Tradeport under the Pan Am name.

Pan Am Systems, the holding company that owns Pan Am Railways, is based in Portsmouth.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of the monthly Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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