The proposed merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Souther was approved on March 15, 2023 by the Surface Transportation Board, as reported in the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald.
The Coalition to Stop CPKC is in the process of reviewing the Surface Transportation Board's decision. The Village will share more details as information becomes available.
Village of Roselle Asserts Opposition to Rail Merger
Following the train derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, several Illinois federal, state and county elected officials and municipal leaders have renewed calls for the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reevaluate the impact the proposed Canadian Pacific–Kansas City rail merger will have on communities along the Metra Milwaukee West line.
Village Administrator Jason Bielawski represented Roselle at the Coalition to Stop CPKC’s press conference on Monday, February 27, where the Coalition shared their response to the STB’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Coalition’s full statement is available on their website.
The final EIS suggests the merger’s environmental impact on our region would be minimal; however, the EIS relies primarily on data provided by Canadian Pacific and does not consider data submitted by Coalition communities and Metra. Coalition members assert that a deeper analysis of the merger’s impact on affected communities is necessary before the STB issues their final decision.
The Village of Roselle remains opposed to the merger and will continue to advocate for our community while awaiting the official decision from the STB.
Proposed Railway Acquisition Decision Expected in March
On January 27, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed railroad merger between Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern Railroad. The STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis has determined that as stated in the August 2022 draft EIS, the proposed merger would not result in major impacts to environmental resource areas, apart from unavoidable noise impacts. The STB is expected to make a final decision on whether to approve the railroad merger by March 6.
While the final EIS did respond to some environmental issues raised by the Coalition to Stop CPKC, the Coalition remains very concerned about the negative impact from the anticipated 14 additional freight trains on the rail each day.
Additionally, the final EIS does not require any significant capital improvements, such as pedestrian and traffic crossing updates, to mitigate the increased freight traffic. Instead, the final EIS recommends voluntary mitigation efforts. These voluntary mitigation efforts, which would be funded and installed by Canadian Pacific Railway, include:
- FRA-approved Quiet Zones
- Predictive mobility systems to deliver advanced notice of blocked rail crossings to citizens and emergency responders
- Interconnect for Advanced Warning Signs at strategic locations to give drivers information about occupied rail crossings
- Positive Train Control wireless technology tie-ins at crossings adjacent to Metra platforms, which will minimize the activation of crossing lights and gates
The final EIS also recommends Canadian Pacific Railway fund a community liaison position to consult with Coalition community leaders to facilitate the implementation of the mitigation efforts.
The Coalition to Stop CPKC is hopeful the STB’s final decision is more aligned with the reality of what this proposed merger will mean for communities along the Milwaukee District West line.
Proposed Railway Acquisition Would Increase Freight Traffic Through Roselle
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.