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Posted on: January 4, 2022

Proposed Railway Acquisition Would Increase Freight Traffic Through Roselle

train tracks

Canadian Pacific Railway recently submitted an application to acquire Kansas City Southern rail network. If the merger is approved, it could result in 6 to 8 additional freight trains traveling through Roselle daily. As part of the application process, the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) is reviewing the application for the merger and is considering input provided by a local coalition of rail communities, including Roselle.

This proposed acquisition has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts related to freight and passenger rail capacity and safety, including grade crossing safety and delays; motor vehicle traffic and roadway systems; and air quality and noise. The merger is projected to increase freight trains traveling through the Village of Roselle by nearly 300%.   

A coalition of eight communities along Metra’s Milwaukee District West line, along with DuPage County, was formed in February 2022 to oppose the proposed merger. The Coalition to Stop CPKC filed a complaint with the Surface Transportation Board on February 28, making their opposition to the railroad merger between Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern Railroad official.

The filing cites undesirable impacts that the communities along the Milwaukee District West line would face, like a three-fold increase in freight train traffic and longer trains that would bisect communities with at-grade crossings. Increased freight traffic could result in traffic delays that slow emergency response times for police and fire departments, and would increase air and noise pollution. Proposed mitigations to lessen these impacts may cost up to $9.5 billon according to coalition estimates, making the merger financially unfeasible. Learn more on the Coalition to Stop CPKC website.

Public Comments Submitted byVillage Officials

Roselle Mayor David Pileski, Police Chief Steve Herron, and Fire Chief Mark Bozik gave testimony at the Surface Transportation Board public hearing on September 12 in Itasca, speaking out against the proposed Canadian Pacific Railway/Kansas City Southern Railroad merger that would impact communities along the Metra Milwaukee District West line. A recently released draft of an environmental study from the STB found that the CPKC merger would only have minor adverse impacts to the environment, even with a 300% increase in freight traffic along the train line. This finding is disputed by the Village and the Coalition to Stop CPKC, who believe that the increase in freight traffic will significantly impact safety at rail crossings, create traffic delays that could directly impact firetrucks, ambulances, and other public safety vehicles, negatively affect air quality and create additional noise pollution.

Watch Chief Herron's Testimony:

Watch Chief Bozik's Testimony:

Watch Mayor Pileski's Testimony:

Village officials also traveled to Washington D.C. in late-September to testify in a hearing before the STB board, and participated in a press conference on October 4 with Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, who asked federal officials to delay the decision on the merger to further study the potential negative impacts. 

While the STB’s public comment period regarding the merger’s environmental impacts has ended, coalition members continue to advocate on behalf of their communities to oppose the merger. The STB is expected to make an initial decision on the merger early next year.

Surface Transportation Board - Application Review
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