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11/19/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN, city of Crest Hill reach agreement on transaction-related mitigation plan


Yesterday, Canadian National Railway Co. announced an agreement with the city of Crest Hill, Ill., regarding the Class I's proposed acquisition of the principal lines of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E).

The agreement — which includes the proposed creation of quiet zones and implementation of noise mitigation measures — is contingent upon regulatory approval of CN's planned acquisition of the EJ&E, which the Surface Transportation Board (STB) continues to review.

"This agreement marks CN's second major mitigation agreement with a community — in August, we reached a similar pact with the city of Joliet — and we continue to work hard to reach fair, comprehensive voluntary agreements with other municipalities along the EJ&E line," said CN Senior Vice President, Southern Region Gordon Trafton in a prepared statement.

Upon STB approval of the EJ&E transaction, CN would meet its commitments to Crest Hill by "substantially implementing the required mitigation measures as train activity increases," according to a CN statement.

The Class I plans to continue working with communities along the EJ&E line to reach mitigation agreements that address concerns about increased train traffic. CN also has developed a $60 million voluntary mitigation plan under which the railroad would meet all of the STB's established mitigation standards, the Class I said.

In September 2007, the Class I reached a deal with U.S. Steel Corp. to acquire most of the EJ&E for $300 million. CN, which hopes to complete the acquisition by year's end, plans to name the operations the "EJ&EW West Co."



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