CHICAGO (WLS) — Northwest suburban Chicago is starting to see the influence of the current $30 million-plus railway merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas Metropolis Southern.
The primary new run because the mega deal was accredited is scheduled to roll out of the Bensenville prepare yard Thursday. It got here together with a security enchantment simply filed in federal courtroom that claims essential proof was ignored within the authorities’s approval of the merger.
CPKC is the one railway connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico: greater than 20,000 miles of observe making a single rail system, growing their variety of freight trains in our space from three to 11, and possibly much more.
After a lot debate, federal regulators accredited the merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas Metropolis Southern railroads in mid-March, a merger a suburban coalition fought.
The primary new CPKC freight prepare left the newly expanded Bensenville rail yard Thursday headed to Mexico.
In March, a Canadian Pacific prepare derailed in Franklin Park. No one was injured and no hazardous supplies leaked.
“It is only a matter of time earlier than now we have an issue,” mentioned Chief James Burke of the Wooden Dale Hearth Division.
Practically 11,000 further prepare automobiles carrying hazardous supplies might be added through the subsequent three years.
“We have already began some dialogue with how we’d need to change a few of our responses that may enable us to deal with emergencies,” mentioned Chief Burke.
The merged firm is underneath an unprecedented seven yr oversight interval. Different circumstances should be met to mitigate environmental impacts and security issues.
However many nonetheless really feel the merger was pushed by too rapidly.
“We’re watching them put income over private security. I believe we have been heard, however we weren’t listened to,” mentioned Frank DeSimone, Bensenville Village President.
“We all know that there are three derailments per day on this nation per day. It is not nearly site visitors or inconvenience of individuals. That is security. That is lives that might be in danger if we do not have the required mitigations,” mentioned Rep. Delia Ramirez.
Information present Canadian Pacific has the perfect security document through the previous 17 years of any railroad its measurement.
An I-Workforce knowledge evaluation reveals 94% of all hazardous supplies incidents final yr have been truck associated. For railroads, it was somewhat greater than 1%.
Statewide since 2020, there have been 58 prepare incidents involving hazardous supplies, two with accidents. The one prepare hazmat-associated fatality in Illinois was in Cherry Valley in 2009.
Canadian Pacific Kansas Metropolis declined the I-Workforce’s request for an interview, however in an e-mail officers state the merger means there might be 64,000 fewer semi vans on the street yearly, claiming that can cut back congestion and emissions.
However lawyer Shawn Collins mentioned the elevated rail site visitors harms the surroundings.
CPKC’s 168 web page security plan consists of use of know-how to alert emergency response businesses in actual time if a railroad crossing’s gates are lively, and set up of superior warning indicators to alert motorists on different streets to contemplate completely different routes.
A group liaison will work with suburban leaders on any points.
“Let’s put the strain on the railroads now to indicate us that they care and that they will be responsive when it comes to the size of the trains and the influence they will have on these communities,” mentioned Sen. Dick Durbin.
The security enchantment is asking for dozens of adjustments in how the merger performs out, with Chicago’s seventh circuit courtroom of appeals as the subsequent cease.
Full Remark from CPKC
In our view, the U.S. Floor Transportation Board performed a complete, thorough and considerate evaluation of the mix, and its environmental impacts, as a part of a greater than year-long regulatory evaluation and environmental influence examine. We consider that unprecedented examination of the info produced the correct closing resolution which clearly acknowledges the various advantages of the CPKC mixture.
CPKC stays dedicated to being a superb neighbor within the communities the place we function and to an open dialogue with communities throughout our community to deal with native issues.