April 23, 2021

Chair DeFazio Warns Proposed Class I Railroad Merger “Should Set Off Alarms Bells”

Washington, D.C. — Today, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) issued the following statement after Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) both made separate multi-billion dollar offers to buy Kansas City Southern (KCS), sparking a bidding war for the railroad and threatening to usher in a new round of consolidations in the rail sector, ultimately threatening jobs and affecting shipping in the U.S.

“Multiple railroads are now seeking to acquire KCS, and that flurry should set off alarms bells about a potential new wave of railroad mergers that stifle competition and trigger industry-wide consolidation. We’ve been here before. In 1980, there were 33 Class I railroads. Today there are seven, and a merger between KCS and Canadian National or Canadian Pacific would leave only six. A series of mergers will likely result in a significant reduction of the railroad workforce, a workforce that has lost tens of thousands of jobs since 2015, and will negatively impact the rail network’s ability to provide affordable and reliable access for our nation’s shippers. Wall Street will make money from railroad consolidation, but the U.S. economy and workforce will be worse off for it.”