The Missouri Times is right to cover the proposed merger between the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads. This merger is fundamentally about improving supply chains, creating employment, and converting shipments into a more environmentally-friendly method of transport.
We expect to create around 1,000 high-paying, direct rail jobs across the country, from Missouri to Minnesota and beyond. This includes 175 employees who will operate trains and maintain track between Kansas City and the Quad Cities.
The railroad companies are not the only ones benefiting from increased economic opportunities. CPKC will offer better transportation options to shippers in northern Missouri, and southern Iowa. The merger will be a catalyst for economic growth as CP serves major employers in agriculture and steel as well as other industries. This combination creates jobs by investing $275 million in infrastructure along routes that see increased train traffic. There are more than a dozen projects along the corridor through northern Missouri, eastern Iowa.
We understand that there will be more trains passing through certain communities, and that we will be increasing their number. One of the concerns is about train lengths. There are misleading suggestions that trains could double in length, from their current size to nearly three miles after the merger.
Today, CPs average train length measures around 8,000 feet. We will be focusing on trains that are 10,000 feet after the merger. Because each train can carry more freight, longer trains means fewer trains. This improves rail transport’s efficiency and environmental impact.
Freight trains are four to one more fuel-efficient than trucks. They also produce 75 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and can take 300 trucks off the roads. There is less congestion on the highways, less pollution and better safety for everyone.
We are currently in dialogue with community leaders about these issues. We will do our best as neighbors. This includes discussing mitigation of potential adverse community effects.
Americans rely on freight trains. Nearly everything you own and any product that you use from home to the table requires rail to get there. Rail transports our high-quality life big-screen TVs as well washers dryers, cars and computers to our homes.
All of these items would be more expensive and more difficult to get if freight rail was not available.
We are committed to delivering these goods safely, efficiently, and in a timely manner for our customers as well as the U.S. Economy.
Andy Cummings is responsible for community relations at Canadian Pacific.