Rail Insights 2023: CPKC, In Depth

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Keith Creel and John Orr, Canadian Pacific Kansas City

Railway Age’s ninth annual Rail Insights Conference, presented virtually on June 22, will feature discussions with two top executives at newly created Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), North America’s first and only single-line transnational Class I freight railroad: President and CEO Keith Creel, and Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer John Orr.

Creel, Railway Age’s 2022 Co-Railroader of the Year with Pat Ottensmeyer, his Kansas City Southern counterpart (who is now a special advisor on Mexican affairs), has been working in “Notch 8” with his leadership team to ramp up CPKC since the STB approved the historic merger on March 15. There’s new business on the books, and projects under way to unlock capacity and fully leverage the benefits of single-line Canada-U.S.-Mexico service.

John Orr, among the industry’s most experienced operating officers, led Kansas City Southern’s operating department, developing and implementing a plan to smoothly integrate the two Class I’s upon their merger’s completion. He has transitioned from KCS EVP COO to CPKC EVP and Chief Transformation Officer, responsible for network operations planning and design, procurement, labor relations and regulatory affairs.

Both Creel and Orr will discuss CPKC’s journey, three months post-merger, with Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono.

Rail Insights 2023 is, overall, a dialogue with the industry’s leadership on key strategic challenges, issues and trends. The conference will explore business growth, capital investment, technology, regulation, service quality and safety in the North American rail market — freight and passenger.In addition to the CPKC merger, 2023 has thus far been extraordinary, for reasons that have converged, all at once. Railroads are under intense scrutiny for perceived safety and service problems. Freight traffic, including the critical intermodal sector, isn’t experiencing a robust recovery, as the economy shows signs of weakness. Passenger rail is looking at a financial crisis as federal COVID relief funding is set to expire.

Other key executives at the center of all this activity will join Railway Age’s experienced editorial team in candid, open discussions. In addition to Creel and Orr, You’ll hear from Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw—arguably the most publicly visible Class I CEO in North America; Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski; Union Tank Car President Leasing Katherine Suprenuk. TD Cowen Managing Director, Industrials – Airfreight & Surface Transportation Street Jason Seidl, Railway Age’s Wall Street Contributing Editor; Railroad Financial Corp. President and Railway Age Financial Editor David Nahass; and Commuter Rail Coalition CEO KellyAnne Gallagher.

You’ll be able to ask questions of the people who have made themselves available. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity, in this extraordinary year! REGISTER NOW.

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