The latest battle between Canada’s two rival railways over the acquisition of Kansas City Southern now focuses on the KCS line between Kansas City and Central Illinois. Montréal-based Canadian National submitted last week to the Surface Transportation Board its intent to file a responsive application to the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, including a request that the merged railroad sell the former Chicago and Alton rail line to CN. The railroad argues that the line that runs through Glasgow, Higbee, Centralia, Mexico and Bowling Green before terminating just outside Springfield, Illinois, would parallel Canadian Pacific’s already existent line that runs north from Kansas City through Chillicothe, Newtown, Ottumwa and Davenport. CN adds that the merged railway plans no investment to the Springfield line and would instead shift traffic to CP’s current line.
Canadian Pacific responded to CN’s proposal, saying it was built on a series of factual errors and misstatements. CP noted that just four cars were interchanged between KCS and CN in Springfield in 2020, down from 137 in 2019. The Calgary-based railroad added that the Springfield line includes a spur south to the Saint Louis area, which CP says is key to the merged railroad’s plan to increase competition and traffic by 30 percent.
The Surface Transportation Board is formally considering the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, following the acquisition of KCS shares last month, which are now in a voting trust.