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 Main 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 CBC.ca.
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.”