The latest purchase includes 393 route-km in Maine and Vermont and includes 92 route-km of railway leased from the Maine Department of Transportation. The acquisition provides CP with direct links to the Atlantic seaports of Searsport, Maine, and Port Saint John, New Brunswick. CP says these routes offer CP a 320km shorter route from the east coast to Montreal and Toronto than competing railways.

CMQ US and CMQ Canada will continue to operate in the United States and Canada as subsidiaries of CP. CP plans to invest $C 90m ($US 66.6m) over the next three years to bring CMQ rail infrastructure up to Federal Railroad Administration Class 3 standards.

The transaction takes the total length of CP’s network to over 20,900km, connecting the Atlantic coast with the Pacific coast via 11 US states and six Canadian provinces.

“This transaction is a generational business opportunity for CP," says Mr Keith Creel, CP’s president and CEO. “It enables us to serve customers through a larger coast-to-coast network across Canada and brings a direct Class 1 freight-rail service to the State of Maine for the first time in decades. It is with great pride that I formally welcome CMQ’s US employees and customers to the CP family.”