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CN asks STB to expedite environmental review, final decision for EJ&E transaction

Canadian National Railway Co. has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for expedited consideration of and review time limits for the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E) transaction.

In a filing submitted to the board yesterday, CN officials proposed the STB follow this timeline: issue a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by July 15; obtain comments on the Draft EIS by September 2; provide a Final EIS by Nov. 3; and issue a final decision by Dec. 1.

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

In September, CN reached a deal with U.S. Steel Corp. to purchase a major portion of the EJ&E for $300 million, but the deal expires on Dec. 31.

Late last month, the STB announced its Section of Environmental Analysis had issued the final scope of study for an EIS and would begin to prepare an environmental statement. At the time, the board estimated it would release a Draft EIS in late summer.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/14/2008