On Wednesday, March 15, federal regulators approved a $31 billion acquisition of Kansas City Southern Railroad by Canadian Pacific. It was the first major railroad merger in more than 20 years, and it will have a direct impact on several suburban Chicago communities. In response to Wednesday’s announcement, State Senator Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett), who represents six affected communities, issued the following statement:
“Today the Surface Transportation Board made a terrible decision to approve the merger of Kansas City Southern Railroad and Canadian Pacific. Most disheartening is the fact that this decision was made with little to no regard for the residents of the affected communities, the impact this will have on our local infrastructure, and to the disruption on a daily basis that our residents will have to face due to the length of trains and the frequency of trains coming through our communities.
“I am disappointed in the Biden Administration and in Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. They not only have the ability and the authority, but also the moral obligation due to what’s happening in Ohio, to put a hold on this decision and take a look at what needs to be done to address our legitimate concerns about public safety, commuter train delays, and overall quality of life issues tied this merger.
“This bipartisan coalition, our residents, our communities, and our federal delegation are quite frankly being railroaded by bureaucrats who are 1,000 miles away. Collectively, we take these safety and quality of life concerns very seriously, and we stand ready to work collaboratively with anyone at any level of government to ensure the people living in the suburbs do not have to suffer negative consequences that currently exist with this merger.”