Bellevue Herald-Leader

 Canadian Pacific, which owns and operates the rail line running through Bellevue and eastern Jackson County, filed an application with the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) on October 29, 2021 to officially merge with Kansas City Southern railroad.

Under the terms of the deal, CP has agreed to acquire KCS in a stock and cash transaction representing a value of approximately $31 billion.

The merger is currently under consideration by the Surface Transportation Board and needs regulatory approval. The companies say they anticipate STB review to be completed in the spring or summer of 2022.

The merger application document is more than 4,300 pages long, and among many other things, it provides new details on the train traffic impact in Bellevue.

The document states that over a three-year term, there will be 6.6 new trains per day going through Bellevue. This is nearly double the current average of 7.7 trains per day.

Most of this is new traffic that the company is hoping to attract from other railroads and trucks, and is the economic rationale for the merger. It will include a great deal of crude oil (a topic which has already generated some controversy in Minneapolis, according to reports in the Minneapolis Star Tribune).

Bellevue is in the CP’s so-called ‘Marquette subdivision’ of rail lines in the eastern Iowa area, which also includes Sabula and areas south.

During the application process with the Surface Transportation Board, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern will have to study the environmental impacts of their proposed merger.

The railways will have to prepare an environmental impact statement partly due to projected increases in rail traffic on several line segments, most notably on CP’s former Milwaukee Road line from Sabula to Kansas City, Mo., the board said.

The board’s office of environmental analysis will host six online public scoping meetings from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9 to hear feedback from the public, communities, state and local agencies, and environmental groups regarding the potential impact of the merger. The specific times of those online meetings are listed at left.

A projected increase in rail traffic caused by the proposed merger is among the factors that triggered the need for an environmental review.

The threshold for an environmental review is a 100% increase in gross ton miles over a particular line segment or an increase of at least eight trains per day.

Main rail lines in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas would exceed the threshold, the STB noted.

The environmental review must be completed before the board issues a decision on the merger.

Get Involved in the process

Public Scoping Meetings 

OEA will hold six online public scoping meetings at the dates and times listed below concerning the environmental impacts of the proposed railroad merger (all times are listed in Central Standard Time). There is no need to attend more than one meeting, but all are welcome to attend as many meetings as desired.

Access to the public scoping meetings will be provided through:

Call-in: (888) 788-0099 (Toll Free)

Public Scoping Meeting Dates and Details

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 6:00-8:00 PM

Meeting ID: 899 9411 9431  | Passcode: 336859

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 2:00-4:00 PM

Meeting ID: 834 1445 3134  | Passcode: 140066

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 6:00-8:00 PM

Meeting ID: 860 6003 9544  | Passcode: 510488

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 6:00-8:00 PM

Meeting ID: 891 6903 1796  | Passcode: 598592

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 2:00-4:00 PM

Meeting ID: 884 5338 0280  | Passcode: 470936

Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:00-8:00 PM

Meeting ID: 899 8627 2409  | Passcode: 227867

Note: Project information will be available for review at this link prior to the public meeting dates.