STB: Chairman Oberman Outlines Pending Railroad Mergers

STB seal25.March, Washington DC – Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin J. Oberman released a statement on the two major pending merger cases before the Board, CP’s acquisition of the KCS and the CSX’s Acquisition of Pan Am Railways.

The Board received a Notice of Intent, proposing to place Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the Kansas City Southern Railway Company, both  Class I railroads, under common control. Under the Board’s statutes and regulations, this proposed transaction would be classified as “Major” – the first major transaction presented for Board approval in more than two decades.

The Board is also reviewing the proposed acquisition of rail carriers owned by Pan Am Systems, and Pan Am Railways, a Class II railroad, by CSX Transportation, Inc., a Class I railroad.

The STB published notice in the Federal Register on Thursday morning determining this proposed transaction will be classified as “significant”.

Railroad transactions can have broad implications for the shape of the nation’s transportation system going forward.  The STB has exclusive authority to review these proposed transactions and to determine whether to issue requisite approvals.  The agency intends to scrutinize the transactions carefully and diligently, in keeping with the applicable statutory and regulatory frameworks.  Additionally, the agency is committed to moving forward expeditiously, while ensuring meaningful opportunities for public participation and stakeholder comment.

The freight railroad system is a crucial component of our Nation’s infrastructure.  It is both a key engine of economic growth and essential to maintaining our national security.  It is important for us to make sure that the U.S. maintains a robust, efficient, competitive, and economically viable surface transportation network that meets the needs of its users.  Over the course of the 25 years since its creation, the Surface Transportation Board has faced substantial railroad merger transactions, and I am fully confident in my fellow Board members and our staff to adjudicate these matters and reach the appropriate outcome on the merits.

Both of these reviews should wrap up early in 2022 based on the current timelines prescribed.