What Might Derail The Csx Conrail Merger

Worried shippers or a bid from Norfolk Southern

Somebody must have thrown a switch somewhere. Back in the mid-1980s, when a rival railroad tried to swallow up federal government-controlled Consolidated Rail Corp., the line's managers fought tooth and nail to stave off the takeover. Even though the U.S. Senate weighed in with a pro-acquisition vote, the managers won and Conrail instead went independent by selling stock to the public. These days, Conrail's executives are chugging down a different track. Eager to see his company sold to rival CSX Corp. for $8.4 billion, Conrail Chief Executive David M. LeVan calls "the opportunity to be with our ideal partner just tremendous."

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