AMTRAK has confirmed its support for the planned merger of Class 1s Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS).

“Given CP’s consistent record as an Amtrak host, we support CP’s proposal to expand its network,” says Amtrak president, Mr Stephen J Gardner, in a statement released on January 6.  Gardner added that the support for the merger was a commitment to Congress and the Biden Administration, which want signs that Amtrak was working with Class 1 operators to benefit all rail users.

Mr Keith Creel, CP president and CEO, says  the planned merger would have no adverse effects on the inter-city passenger service.

Amtrak highlighted CP’s commitment to its role as a host railway through the support of new and expanded inter-city services including:

  • increased frequency on the Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee
  • extending the Hiawatha Service from Milwaukee to St Paul to create a second round-trip on the Twin Cities - Milwaukee - Chicago corridor, and
  • introducing a passenger service through the Detroit River Tunnel between Michigan and Ontario to Windsor and Toronto (with connections to VIA Rail Canada).

Subject to approval of the merger by the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the agreement also includes CP’s commitment to support Amtrak’s efforts to work with the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) and other authorities to introduce the first service in more than 50 years between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and to study the potential for Amtrak services between Meridian and Dallas.

The STB is expected to issue its decision on the planned merger in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The January edition of IRJ, The Railway in 2022, includes insight on the merger from Creel and Patrick Ottensmeyer.