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Western Railroad Discussion > CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line


Date: 01/13/22 08:42
CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: Vicksburg_Route

Requests STB to condition any approval of a CP-KCS merger on the divestiture of KCS Springfield Line to CN, connecting Kansas City, Missouri to Springfield, Illinois

https://www.cn.ca/en/news/2022/01/cn-submits-notice-of-intent-to-file-responsive-application-with/



Date: 01/13/22 09:16
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: Spoony81

As a resident of Springfield, I hope it happens. I know it doesn't get much use on my end but CN claims they will change that. The grain loadout in Jacksonville stays pretty busy with unit grain trains

Here is another article
https://www.progressiverailroading.com/canadian_national/news/CN-to-ask-STB-to-condition-CPKCS-merger-on-Springfield-Line-divestiture--65643?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR12l5_EeEMaYqc15w2xOvq5ms9wysmPGLFVGOsaPSjD_TMrcgDf4SSS338

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 09:16 by Spoony81.



Date: 01/13/22 10:40
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: AaronJ

Interesting as one has to ponder if CPKC will now (or was already planning) dump the line to say CSX just to spite CN. I would not be surprised to see CSX jump into the equation saying they deserve this route more than CN and can provide a more direct path to Detroit and Northeast US.

Even UP can make an argument toward the Gateway Western although it won't really speed up lower priority intermodal going through St. Louis or be fast enough to remove the two UP Z trains from running on the ex-ATSF. I'll put money on CSX ending up with some form of access/trackage rights on the Gateway Western as at the end of this, I'll be surprised if CN has gotten a single thing from that route.

Let the games begin!



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/22 05:20 by AaronJ.



Date: 01/13/22 10:46
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: Spoony81

AaronJ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Interesting as one has to ponder if CPKC will now
> (or was already planning) dump the line to say CSX
> just to spite CN. I would not be surprised to see
> CSX jump into the equation saying they deserve
> this route more than CN and can provide a more
> direct path to Detroit and Northeast US.
>
> Even UP can make an argument toward the Gateway
> Western although it won't really speed up lower
> priority intermodal going through St. Louis or be
> fast enough to remove the two UP Z trains from
> running on the ex-ATSF. I'll put money on CSX
> ending up with the Gateway Western. Let the games
> begin!

Wouldn't help CSX much when they get to Springfield, whose tracks would they get on to get east? I doubt UP, CN and NS would be very accommodating 



Date: 01/13/22 10:51
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: AaronJ

Spoony81 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Wouldn't help CSX much when they get to
> Springfield, whose tracks would they get on to get
> east? I doubt UP, CN and NS would be very
> accommodating 

Guessing you have no idea the Gateway also heads to St. Louis as the route splits at Roodhouse IL with one line heading to St. Louis (active branch) and the other toward Springfield (mostly dead). CSX already interchanges traffic at St. Louis to KCS while CN doesn't at Springfield...hence CSX already has a better argument for that route.

Note CN didn't ask for just Springfield to Roodhouse but the entire way to KC without mentioning St. Louis much, which CSX can make a better claim without mentioning Springfield. Those are the facts.

I guess that route could end up in some type of joint ownership setup or even "Rail Link" scenario with multiple owners but rest assured CN isn't getting the Gateway Western by itself, or possibly at all.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 11:09 by AaronJ.



Date: 01/13/22 11:03
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: SOO6617

It didn't take CP very long to resspond to CN, including by pointing out that KCS and CN don't connect in Springfield, IL
https://www.cpr.ca/en/media/cp-responds-to-cns-plan-to-ask-the-stb-to-force-a-sale-to-cn-of-parts-of-the-future-cpkc-network



Date: 01/13/22 11:11
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: Spoony81

AaronJ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Spoony81 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> > Wouldn't help CSX much when they get to
> > Springfield, whose tracks would they get on to
> get
> > east? I doubt UP, CN and NS would be very
> > accommodating 
>
> Guessing you have no idea the Gateway also heads
> to St. Louis as the route splits at Roodhouse IL
> with one line heading to St. Louis (active branch)
> and the other toward Springfield (mostly dead).
> CSX already interchanges traffic at St. Louis to
> KCS while CN doesn't at Springfield...hence CSX
> already has a better argument for that route.
>
> Note CN didn't ask for just Springfield to
> Roodhouse but the entire way to KC without
> mentioning St. Louis much, which CSX can make a
> better claim without mentioning Springfield. Those
> are the facts.
>
> I guess that route could end up in some type of
> joint ownership setup or even "Rail Link" scenario
> with multiple owners but rest assured CN isn't
> getting the Gateway Western by itself, or possibly
> at all.

Of course I know they go to St Louis, I just slipped my mind.



Date: 01/13/22 11:19
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: AaronJ

SOO6617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It didn't take CP very long to resspond to CN,
> including by pointing out that KCS and CN don't
> connect in Springfield, IL
> https://www.cpr.ca/en/media/cp-responds-to-cns-pla
> n-to-ask-the-stb-to-force-a-sale-to-cn-of-parts-of
> -the-future-cpkc-network

LOL! CN just overplayed this one by completely omitting that...

1: This route is used more for St. Louis which CN already has access. Thus, CN is essentially saying to the STB that it is better to decrease service in St. Louis so CN can add service in KC where they currently have none!?!? Not happening

2: They don't have any direct interchange with KCS at Springfield and what has been transferred via UP/NS to KCS there is basically nothing!

CN will not end up with a single bit of access to this route as mark it down now.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 11:24 by AaronJ.



Date: 01/13/22 11:29
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: Englewood

Is this the same ex- GM&O line that CN predecessor ICG sold off because
they had no interest in it ?



Date: 01/13/22 12:24
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: AaronJ

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is this the same ex- GM&O line that CN predecessor
> ICG sold off because
> they had no interest in it ?

Yes. UP obviously has the Joliet to St. Louis portion back to a high speed corridor that runs many passenger and intermodal trains. However, the KCS portion between KC and Springfield is a single track, 40 mph at best, TWC, small siding...stretch of railroad.



Date: 01/13/22 13:50
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: ironmtn

Well, here we go. At some point in this merger process other carriers were going to jump in and start asking for line segments or access conditions. That this has occurred does not surprise me at all. And that it is CN asking to basically extend their reach to KC also does not surprise me. This has been discussed in the past at some length here on Trainorders.

I won't be surprised if CSX now joins in. Access at Kansas City, if obtained, could be more valuable to them than to CN.

On the other hand, CSX surely understands that such a move would be more likely to bring a negative response from others. CN making the request is more easily presented as competitive access, since it would be access at KC by another heavily north-south route system (CN) to another, namely CPKC. Whereas a request by CSX could be seen as more of a territorial invasion by a heavily east-west system instead. One which could have the potential to capture some traffic that now has to go through a gateway further east (Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis). UP and BNSF, or CPKC for that matter, would not want to short-haul themselves by surrendering traffic to CSX at Kansas City that they could handle all the way to Chicago, St. Louis or Memphis. 

CN may be using awareness of this as a side-bet to their request. They know that the STB is probably going to receive some requests and pressure for some line sales, leases or other access conditions. That almost always happens in merger cases. By offering an access condition that could be argued to be more truly competitive, route to route, and railroad to railroad, they are allowing the STB to do an access condition that is not a more aggressive territorial invasion like a request from CSX would be. If CSX or someone else doesn't also jump in and ask for the KC - Springfield or KC - Springfield - East St. Louis route, CN can get a solid gain out of it with a relatively low degree of muss and fuss that the STB might appreciate. Perhaps an astute move by CN.

We'll see if any more shoes drop in this matter. If they do, I won't be surprised. Stay tuned.

MC



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 13:53 by ironmtn.



Date: 01/13/22 16:18
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: AaronJ

As long as CPKC shows that traffic already interchanged in St. Louis headed toward KC will continue in some form, then CN will have ZERO chance of taking away any portion of the Gateway between KC and St. Louis. This would only leave the short 40 mile segment from Roodhouse to Springfield potentially open for sale but even then CN would have to prove they have UP and NS approval (highly doubt that exists) to run trains where they currently have no trackage rights. Essentially, the best CN can hope for is trackage rights on a single track route that is good for 40 mph via TWC and minimal sidings.

If CN was serious about making it to KC, they should work out some haulage agreement with UP across MO via St. Louis as UP has excess capacity across that that corridor given the decline of coal.

ironmtn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, here we go. At some point in this merger
> process other carriers were going to jump in and
> start asking for line segments or access
> conditions. That this has occurred does not
> surprise me at all. And that it is CN asking to
> basically extend their reach to KC also does not
> surprise me. This has been discussed in the past
> at some length here on Trainorders.
>
> I won't be surprised if CSX now joins in. Access
> at Kansas City, if obtained, could be more
> valuable to them than to CN.
>
> On the other hand, CSX surely understands that
> such a move would be more likely to bring a
> negative response from others. CN making the
> request is more easily presented as competitive
> access, since it would be access at KC by another
> heavily north-south route system (CN) to another,
> namely CPKC. Whereas a request by CSX could be
> seen as more of a territorial invasion by a
> heavily east-west system instead. One which could
> have the potential to capture some traffic that
> now has to go through a gateway further east
> (Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis). UP and BNSF, or
> CPKC for that matter, would not want to short-haul
> themselves by surrendering traffic to CSX at
> Kansas City that they could handle all the way to
> Chicago, St. Louis or Memphis. 
>
> CN may be using awareness of this as a side-bet to
> their request. They know that the STB is probably
> going to receive some requests and pressure for
> some line sales, leases or other access
> conditions. That almost always happens in merger
> cases. By offering an access condition that could
> be argued to be more truly competitive, route to
> route, and railroad to railroad, they are allowing
> the STB to do an access condition that is not a
> more aggressive territorial invasion like a
> request from CSX would be. If CSX or someone else
> doesn't also jump in and ask for the KC -
> Springfield or KC - Springfield - East St. Louis
> route, CN can get a solid gain out of it with a
> relatively low degree of muss and fuss that the
> STB might appreciate. Perhaps an astute move by
> CN.
>
> We'll see if any more shoes drop in this matter.
> If they do, I won't be surprised. Stay tuned.
>
> MC



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 16:24 by AaronJ.



Date: 01/13/22 19:20
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: StStephen

The old Chicago &Alton/GM&O/Gateway Western seems like a relatively well-aligned piece from Roodhouse all the way to Marshall. Maybe not a racetrack, but not too bad. But maybe too many hogbacks?
 
But a good rebuild on that with siding extensions and CTC could net UP a great way to get around the trackage rights dilemma on BNSF between KC and Global IV, and the still-born trackage rights on NS to Springfield, where they could have a fast-enough railroad to compete. Make a new connection just northeast of Marshall to the KC-St. Louis former MP, where Salt Fork is crossed by the old C&A. UP Abandon the line west of that connection. That distance from the new connection to Roodhouse is about 170 miles. It looks like +/- 130 miles could be 60 mph running; the balance in the 40 to 45 mph range if no realignments were done.

 
Might be a few hours longer than BNSF to get to Joliet/Chicago, but it would control its own destiny. And these days a few hours is just a rounding error when you can’t keep schedules in the first place. Just trying to think outside of the box here. 
 
Bruce
 



Date: 01/13/22 20:04
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: Off-pending

I’d be careful saying CN and KCS don’t interchange in Springfield. There’s some historical trackage rights in play in the short segment between Curran and Springfield proper.
IC kept rights to Curran to service the elevator there when dumping the former GM&O to CMW.
When the CMW was split up between SP and GWWR, the SP got the trackage from KC JCT to Curran. GWWR got trackage rights over both SP and IC to reach Springfield proper.
UP got SP and KCS took GWWR.
Both CN and KCS still use these rights today. IC and GWWR interchanged trains at Springfield for a while in the mid 90’s. The IC stopped this practice and routed these trains to St Louis via Carbondale. CN and KCS do currently interchange cars at either Springfield or Curran.
Neither CN or KCS have “trackage rights” on NS. The state combined the former GM&O KC with NS line. Both railroads are free to run their trains. NS just dispatches it. So NS really doesn’t have a say in this.



Date: 01/13/22 20:26
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: AaronJ

UP has zero interest in the Gateway Western. For one there isn't as much of mileage savings as you think as it's only around 85 miles compared to running via St. Louis. This doesn't even include the fact the UP across MO is two main or directional track plus around 60% of the ex GM&O between Springfield and St. Louis is 2 main track. Basically UP can make 15-kft monster stacks running between KC and Springfield via St. Louis with minimal issue of stops/meets which largely eliminates the mileage difference.

Sure, getting through St. Louis slows them by an hour or two, but the Gateway Western is currently a 40 mph, single track railroad with minimal to no sidings to handle 15+kft trains, meaning UP would have to toss in a ton of money with upgrades just to gain at most a couple hours for lower priority trains. On a busy day with tons of meets plus waiting for barge traffic to clear at Louisiana MO, the UP would gain nothing even with upgrades. UP already knows from running test trains on the parallel NS ex-Wabash line a couple years ago that they'll have to leave Z trains on the BNSF transcon between KC and G4 to remain competitive. Essentially, the Gateway Western doesn't help UP remove Z trains from the BNSF or improve transit times much for lower priority traffic running through St. Louis to justify spending money on it.

Now if we were talking about somebody else spending the money on the Gateway and UP stumbles into ownership, then maybe it becomes possible. UP is content running Z trains via Ft Madison and everything else intermodal through St. Louis.


StStephen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The old Chicago &Alton/GM&O/Gateway Western seems
> like a relatively well-aligned piece from
> Roodhouse all the way to Marshall. Maybe not a
> racetrack, but not too bad. But maybe too many
> hogbacks?
>  
> But a good rebuild on that with siding extensions
> and CTC could net UP a great way to get around the
> trackage rights dilemma on BNSF between KC and
> Global IV, and the still-born trackage rights on
> NS to Springfield, where they could have a
> fast-enough railroad to compete. Make a new
> connection just northeast of Marshall to the
> KC-St. Louis former MP, where Salt Fork is crossed
> by the old C&A. UP Abandon the line west of that
> connection. That distance from the new connection
> to Roodhouse is about 170 miles. It looks like +/-
> 130 miles could be 60 mph running; the balance in
> the 40 to 45 mph range if no realignments were
> done.
>
>  
> Might be a few hours longer than BNSF to get to
> Joliet/Chicago, but it would control its own
> destiny. And these days a few hours is just a
> rounding error when you can’t keep schedules in
> the first place. Just trying to think outside of
> the box here. 
>  
> Bruce
>  



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 20:48 by AaronJ.



Date: 01/14/22 08:17
Re: CN Requests Springfield, IL to Kansas City, MO Line
Author: ntharalson

The "what ifs" of this are interesting.  However, I don't think this will be an issue.  More likely, the "Meridian Speedway" between Dallas and Meridian, MS, will see the battle ground.  At least, that's what I'm thinking.  

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



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