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CN has asked the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to condition any approval of the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger on the divestiture of the KCS line from Kansas City, Missouri, to Springfield and East St. Louis, Illinois, to CN.
CN made the request based on the STB’s statutory authority to order “the divestiture of parallel tracks" as a merger condition, company officials said in a press release. Granting CN control of what it calls the "Kansas City Speedway" line would provide rail customers with a new competitive option to move goods across a key North American economic corridor, they proposed.
CN would invest in the Kansas City Speedway, which would "benefit customers and communities, create union and management jobs, and produce substantial environmental benefits by taking 80,000 trucks off the road annually," company officials said.
"Under the right ownership, we believe there is a clear opportunity to bring widespread economic benefits for customers and communities across the American Midwest and Canada," said CN Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Reilly. "CN has a comprehensive plan for the Kansas City Speedway that will increase competition, create jobs, reduce roadway congestion, and positively impact the environment."
CN’s creation of the Kansas City Speedway would ensure that automotive and intermodal customers in particular would have "greater competitive shipping options between Eastern Canada, Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City," CN officials said.
Over 70 letters of support for the proposal have been filed with the STB, they added.