CANADIAN Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) officially became the first single-line, transnational railway connecting Canada, the United States and Mexico on April 14, marked by the driving of a ceremonial last spike in Kansas City, Missouri.

The new transnational railway also broke ground on a new yard office, the future location of its US operations centre.

CPKC Advisor, Mr Pat Ottensmeyer.

The merger of Class 1 railways Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) to form CPKC was authorised by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on March 15. With its global headquarters in Calgary, Canada, CPKC describes itself as “the only railway connecting North America” with “unrivalled port access on coasts around the continent, from Vancouver to Atlantic Canada to the Gulf of Mexico to Lázaro Cárdenas on Mexico’s Pacific coast.”

Still the smallest of the six US Class 1 railways by revenue, the newly combined company operates approximately 32,200km of railway and employs close to 20,000 people and is expected to be fully integrated over the next three years.

Mr Keith Creel, formerly president and CEO of CP, is now president and CEO of CPKC. Mr Pat Ottensmeyer, previously president and CEO of KCS, will continue as an advisor to Creel through the remainder of 2023 “to ensure continuity on key initiatives predominantly involving the combined company and Mexico.” The 11-member executive leadership team, all reporting to Creel, is subject to final appointment by the CPKC board of directors.

“Today, we celebrate this historic combination creating a truly unique single-line rail network that begins a new chapter of railway history in North America,” Creel says. “This unmatched CPKC network will give our customers new options and expanded reach to more markets as we provide reliable rail service, take trucks off public roads and raise the bar on rail safety by expanding CP’s industry-leading safety practices.”

CPKC’s new logo is an updated version of the former CP logo, which included its heritage shield, maple leaf and beaver emblem. The letters CPKC now take the place of the founding date of CP, 1881, which has been moved inside the shield.

CP completed its $US 31bn acquisition of KCS on December 14, 2021. Immediately upon the closing, shares of KCS were placed into a voting trust, ensuring that KCS operated independently of CP during the regulatory review process. Pursuant to the STB’s March 15 decision approving the transaction, the voting trustee, Mr Ronald Batory, on April 14 transferred the KCS shares to an affiliate of CP, formally bringing KCS into the CPKC family.

CPKC reported filing articles of amendment changing the company’s name to “Canadian Pacific Kansas City Limited,” which became effective April 14. CPKC’s common shares will remain listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “CP” and are expected to begin trading under the new name and new CUSIP (13646K108) on April 18.

CPKC plans capital investments of more than $US 275m over the next three years to improve safety and capacity on the core north-south CPKC main line between the US Upper Midwest and Louisiana.

Four KCS directors have joined the board of the combined company:

  • Mr David Garza-Santos
  • Mr Antonio Garza
  • Mr Henry Maier, and
  • Ms Janet Kennedy.

CPKC said these four directors will also be nominated for election to the board of CPKC at its annual general meeting to be held on June 15 2023.