By Justin Franz
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has accepted Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern’s application to merge, officially kicking off what is likely to be one of the biggest jobs ever undertaken by the federal regulator.
CP and KCS filed an application to merge with the STB back in October, but since then two other railroads — scorned suitor Canadian National and Union Pacific — have urged the agency to reject the application. CN stated that it believed CP and KCS had jumped the gun and filed too soon, whereas UP said the 4,342-page application was “incomplete.” CN quickly backed UP in the opinion that CP and KCS had not provided enough information to merge. UP specifically said that the application lacked solid market analyses and operating data required to consider the merger. But the STB disagreed.
“The Board finds that the Application is complete as it contains all information required by the Board’s regulations. Accordingly, the Application is accepted,” the board wrote.
The review of the CP-KCS merger is expected to take nearly a year and will likely include public hearings and an extensive environmental review.