Updated: March 23, 4:15 p.m. EST
By Justin Franz
WASHINGTON — Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern have formally notified the U.S. Surface Transportation Board of their plans to merge.
On Monday, just a day after the two companies rocked the railroad world with the announcement of their plans to merge into one, CP and KCS officials submitted three filings with the regulatory board. Those filings were made public on Tuesday morning.
The filings were mostly formalities, informing the STB of when it plans to submit its actual application (on or shortly after June 28) and a proposed schedule (10 months from application submission to decision).
On Tuesday afternoon, STB Chairman Martin J. Oberman issued a statement acknowledging the filing and vowing that it would work diligently to ensure that any merger was in the public’s interest. The statement also mentioned the proposed CSX Transportation and Pan Am Railways deal.
“Railroad transactions can have broad implications for the shape of the nation’s transportation system going forward,” Oberman said. “The freight railroad system is a crucial component of our Nation’s infrastructure. It is both a key engine of economic growth and essential to maintaining our national security. It is important for us to make sure that the U.S. maintains a robust, efficient, competitive, and economically viable surface transportation network that meets the needs of its users. Over the course of the 25 years since its creation, the Surface Transportation Board has faced substantial railroad merger transactions, and I am fully confident in my fellow Board members and our staff to adjudicate these matters and reach the appropriate outcome on the merits.”
The combination of North America’s two smallest Class Is would create the first railroad to operate in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The deal is worth $29 billion and has the approval of both boards. The new railroad will be called Canadian Pacific Kansas City.
In the scheduling filing, CP and KCS argue that the 10-month timeline for review is on par with what it took the STB to review the Canadian National and Illinois Central merger two decades ago.