STB Sets Public Hearing on CPKC Merger

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will hold a public hearing this September on the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KSC), which seeks to create North America’s first transnational freight railroad, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC).

CP and KCS in September 2021 agreed to combineSTB in November 2021 accepted for review their application to form CPKC.

The STB on July 22 announced that it decided to conduct the three-day hearing Sept. 28, 29 and 30, 2022, at its Washington, D.C., headquarters “[b]ased on comments that have been submitted in the proceeding.” It will allow STB members to “directly question the applicants [CP and KCS] and other interested persons about the issues that have been raised, thereby advancing the public interest,” according to the agency. (Among the issues: CN and Norfolk Southern, for example, have each requested a number of conditions, including divestiture of the Springfield Line in Illinois and Missouri as well as certain trackage rights should STB approve the merger. For more, read: CP, KCS to STB: CPKC ‘Compellingly in the Public Interest, Should Be Approved Without Conditions’)

STB noted that “environmental and historic preservation issues will be addressed through the ongoing environmental review process being conducted by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis, and the Board will not consider such issues at the public hearing.”

STB Chairman Martin J. Oberman

“I have strongly favored public hearings in our proceedings, which not only allow the Board Members to deeply explore the issues with our stakeholders, but also advance transparency into our decision-making,” Chairman Martin J. Oberman said. “In light of the significant issues involved in the Board’s consideration of the proposed CP-KCS transaction, it is essential that we hear directly from the applicants and our stakeholders and do so in public.”

Any person wishing to speak during the three-day hearing—which will run from 9 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m. EDT each day—must by Sept. 14, 2022, file a notice of intent to participate, either in person or online using video-conferencing.

That notice must identify the entity, if any, the person represents, the proposed speaker, and whether the speaker will appear in person or online, and summarize the key points to be addressed.  Each speaker will be allotted five minutes, “unless they request otherwise in their notice of intent, in which case the Board will consider the request,” STB said. 

Due to the public hearing, STB said it would change the procedural schedule of the merger proceeding this way: the due date for final briefs will move from Sept. 20, 2022, to Oct. 14, 2022. Oct. 14, 2022 will be considered the “close of the record.”

Download the complete STB hearing announcement below:

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