Interest groups to CN shareholders: Regional communities face long-term detrimental impacts if EJ&E deal is approved (4/22/2008)


Barrington Communities Against CN Rail Congestion (BCACN) and The Regional Answer to Canadian National (TRAC) plan to deliver a letter to Canadian National Railway Co. shareholders today explaining why the two regional interest groups oppose the Class I's Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway (EJ&E) transaction.

CN is seeking regulatory approval to acquire a major portion of the 198-mile EJ&E, which operates a mainline that encircles Chicago and reaches Waukegan, Joliet and South Chicago, Ill., and Gary, Ind. The Class I plans to name the operations the EJ&EW West Co.

BCACN and TRAC officials believe the transaction will negatively impact the environment, economy, traffic and overall quality of life for hundreds of thousands of residents who live along EJ&E's line in the region.

The letter "makes it clear that opponents will do everything in their power to derail the transaction unless Canadian National makes the investment necessary to fix — in totality — the problems it will create in these communities by running unprecedented numbers of freight trains on the EJ&E rail line," BCACN and TRAC officials said in a prepared statement.

The groups' members and local elected officials plan to call on congressional leaders to demand CN underwrite the full mitigation costs necessary to "protect the more than 50 at-risk communities from safety, traffic, economic and environmental issues," the interest group officials said.

"We are representing dozens of Illinois and Indiana communities along the nearly 200-mile line that will face long-term detrimental impacts if this acquisition is approved," said TRAC member and Plainfield Mayor Jim Waldorf. "We want Canadian National shareholders and our congressional leaders to understand we are united in regional opposition to this transaction."

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News