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news release

Contact: Jeff Maclin
RELEASE: March 20, 1997

Commissioner Haley testifies
before Senate Sub-committee on
proposed Conrail/CSX/Norfolk Southern merger

State Transportation Commissioner John J. Haley, Jr. today testified before the U. S. Senate Appropriations Sub-committee on transportation regarding the proposed Conrail/CSX/Norfolk Southern merger and reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the long-term interests of Conrail customers based in New Jersey -- who employ thousands -- are not negatively impacted by the merger.

"The Northeast’s rail freight services must emerge from this process with an improved ability to compete for, and serve, the manufacturing and distribution systems that are vital to our future prosperity," said Haley.

At the direction of Governor Christine Todd Whitman, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has been working closely with the railroads to ensure future rail competitive access throughout the State to key strategic markets. To this end, DOT developed a set of principles that would serve as a basis for any approval of the merger agreement by the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

The five principles address competition, access, accommodating both freight and passenger operations, intermodal options and worker displacement.

In his testimony, Commissioner Haley told the sub-committee that the revised merger proposal between Conrail, CSX and Norfolk Southern addresses these issues in general terms. However, more aggressive steps still need to be taken to ensure that the principles will be adhered to and implemented in a satisfactory manner, said Haley. The Commissioner said he and the Governor will continue to work with the railroads to improve access to the ports of South Jersey.

In closing, Commissioner Haley thanked Senator Frank Lautenberg and the entire sub-committee for the opportunity to appear and discuss an issue which is of extreme importance to the future economic health of New Jersey.

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