Do you ever wonder how a bad day could get worse? Well, today I came home from a not-so-good day, took a nap, got up, and went on railroad.net to see what everyone is talking about. I check this thread, noticed nobody has commented about Trains Magazine's amazing interview with Keith Creel about CPKC. So I begin reading, begin writing. I write this magnificent thesis intricately dissecting every little detail giving snappy commentary in the process. Then, something happens. My 1000 word masterpiece is deleted. An hour wasted. I am deflated. I walk away to get something to drink then come back to my computer. I decide, no, I need to share my opinion with a very niche group of people on the internet I've never met. So I'm back here, writing this.
I'm going to give you the cliffnotes since I don't want to spend more time writing this. Here we go.
"Canadian Pacific Kansas City" is a horrible name that is yet another smash-up of pre-existing names with no real meaning; however, Creel is adamant about it, saying it honors the employees of the two companies. Ok? The bever and shield logo will be kept but modified to include KCS. Good since it is by far the best Class I logo in my opinion. There will be a new paint scheme. Perhaps action red with gray ghost would look good?
CP and KCS only connect in Kansas City and only interchange about four trainloads per day, so I don't expect any major hiccups in the merger implementation. There will be no major day one traffic increases except a new Minneapolis-Dallas intermodal service mentioned by Creel a few months ago. Traffic will begin to grow quickly though.
Shreveport to Kansas City will go from 40 mph to 60 mph; however, considering how much KCS winds through the Ozarks, I don't know to what extent this will be possible. Kansas City to Chicago will get 60 mph track, extended sidings, and full CTC. I don't see any major problems with this part of the upgrade plan, but perhaps someone who is more knowledgeable about this line (Mr. Norman?) can comment.
The former Gateway Western is a line to nowhere whose only value is a second connection to CSX to KCS. There is no way I could see it becoming a Chicago bypass of any sort. I don't expect CPKC to sell the line as some have predicted since any traffic going to St. Louis is traffic not going to congested-as-hell Chicago.
Houston is a bottleneck for KCS and will remain so for CPKC. Since CPKC will be competing with UP in far more corridors than CP and KCS currently do, don't expect UP to treat CPKC trains too well. Expect an STB battle between the two railroads to happen a few years after the merger. The only way I could see this being fixed is joint ownership with independent dispatching, like what BNSF has over the former Sunset Route east of Houston.
New Amtrak Services
CPKC will be open to new Amtrak services such as a Shreveport-New Orleans service and a Shreveport-Meridian section of the Crecent. CP is also ranked highest on Amtrak's on-time performance report card. Hopefully this will smooth over the passenger lobby; however, some of those people want to have their cake and eat it too and will find some reason to oppose this.
Great. I no longer have to deal with foamers ranting to me how much they hate EHH, CP, etc everytime I bring up something positive about them all because they retired 2816. This has happened more times than I can count at this point and am glad to see it (hopefully) go away...
Alright, those are my thoughts. Hopefully, I can post this without incident. Good night everybody.
Barbecuing in Chessie's backyard.