CN WANTS STB TO REFINE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST FOR RAIL MERGERS
Canadian National Tuesday asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to refocus its public interest test for rail mergers on a merger’s ability to create better service in affected markets.
The STB has issued a 15-month moratorium on rail mergers while it develops new rules to govern future rail mergers. The moratorium stalled merger plans by CN and Burlington Northern Santa Fe which would have created the largest rail network in North America.
CN, in a submission to the STB, said the board should “examine its merger rules separate and apart from broader, industry-wide issues such as the desirability of two east-west U.S. transcontinental railroads, access to shippers exclusively served by one railroad and short-line-major railroad relationships.
“Issues of industry-wide import should be examined in a separate, but concurrent, review proceeding,” CN said. CN also asked the STB to enact new merger guidelines by November, rather than at the end of the 15-month schedule adopted by the agency.
CN and BNSF are challenging the STB merger moratorium in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.