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Canadian Pacific acquiring Central Maine & Quebec

A Canadian Pacific train heads to its next stop. (Photo: Flickr/Jerry Huddleston)

Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) will be acquiring short line Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQ) in a deal that CP hopes will boost its footprint in the Eastern U.S. and establish a coast-to-coast network in Canada, the railway said on Nov. 20.

CMQ has 481 miles of rail lines in Quebec and Maine, and it has access to the ports at Searsport, Maine, and Saint John, New Brunswick, via the short lines Eastern Maine Railway and New Brunswick Southern Railway.

“With additional port access, more dots on the map and our proven precision scheduled railroading operating model, we are confident this transaction will bring benefits to all stakeholders moving forward,” said CP CEO Keith Creel. 

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but CP expects the purchase of CMQ from Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (FTAI), its present owner, to close by the end of 2019. As part of the deal, FTAI will keep its ownership of Katahdin Railcar Services, a tank car cleaning and repair facility in Derby, Maine. FTAI will also continue to operate a 12-mile branch line at the Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Monroe County, Ohio.

“We are excited about this transaction as it brings value to our shareholders, while ensuring that the CMQ continues to provide safe and reliable rail transportation options,” said FTAI CEO Joe Adams.

CMQ owns the track that was involved in the July 2013 fatal accident a Lac Mégantic, Quebec. Transport Canada has also cited the line as having numerous defects, but the short line has told the agency that those defects have been addressed, according to

CP deploys asset monitoring technology for its chassis

In an unrelated announcement on Nov. 20, BlackBerry said CP will be deploying BlackBerry Radar across 2,000 of its domestic intermodal chassis at the Vaughan Intermodal Terminal in greater Toronto. 

BlackBerry described the technology as a device that enables asset monitoring by providing real-time information and analytics on location, motion, mileage, utilization and dwell and turn times, among other factors. The data is stored on a cloud platform and can be accessed through an online dashboard.

“CP is constantly looking to evolve, innovate and elevate the experience for our customers,” said Jonathan Wahba, CP’s vice president of sales and marketing for intermodal and automotive. “We’re excited about this collaboration with BlackBerry Radar and the potential benefits this technology will allow us to drive within our network.”


  1. Phillip Fine

    It’s delightfully ironic that roughly 30 years after CP Rail sold most of this track, it’s now buying it back, although it still won’t own the actual tracks into Saint John, long the company’s eastern terminus.

    Still, CP isn’t alone in reversing corporate decisions. Several years after CN Rail sold its lines in northern New Brunswick and Quebec to a shortline operator, it bought them back. And I believe that a few years after CN ripped up several double track segments in western Canada, it’s now in the process of putting the rails back down!

  2. Noble1

    Speaking about Quebec and Rail :


    “Quebec has less than 5 days propane left due to CN strike, premier says”

    “Quebec has already started to ration propane, narrowing it to less than half the typical six million litres per day, Legault said. The province has about 12 million litres in reserve.
    “We started to make choices,” he said Thursday. “That means we have enough for four days, four-and-a-half days.”

    Canadian Propane Association CEO Nathalie St-Pierre says that six-hour truck lines for propane have already formed in Sarnia, Ont.
    “It’s having a huge impact. We’re very concerned, because propane infrastructure relies heavily on rail,” St-Pierre told The Canadian Press.
    “There’s no pipeline that brings propane to Quebec.”

    About 85 per cent of the province’s propane comes via rail, the bulk of it from Sarnia and some from Edmonton — the country’s two propane trading hubs.”

    I only quoted parts of the article . You may want to read the whole article titled :

    Quebec has less than 5 days propane left due to CN strike, premier says”

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.