Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by John_Perkowski
Metra has initiated a lawsuit against the STB over the CPKC merger in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals?

Trains has the initial report, click here to read it.

Brief, fair use quote
WASHINGTON — Chicago commuter operator Metra has become the third entity to sue over the Surface Transportation Board’s approval of the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger.

In a single-page filing with the board, Metra notified the STB today (Wednesday, May 17) that it had initiated a suit on May 12 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seeking review of the March 15 decision creating Canadian Pacific Kansas City. Metra’s court filing calls the board’s decision “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, an otherwise not in accordance with law or supported by substantial evidence.” It offers no specifics.
This is a global topic, since there are now three lawsuits running against the CPKC merger.
  by west point
It is strange that these lawsuits may be dismissed as they came past date to challenge? It seems that See Peck railroad is fairly insulated but who knows what SCOTUS will do. The Sinclair ruling may be overturned.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Colonel, do you think METRA seeks to "unmerge" the CPKC, or do you think they simply are seeking "windows" during MILW "rush hours"?

As I noted at a related topic, the MILW once did provide "passenger only rush hour windows", as did the C&NW and the Q. Obviously that practice has long been discarded, likely in great part to the tightening of Hours of Service from 14 to 12 hours.
  by John_Perkowski

THIS suit is to try to get STB to reconsider the conditions of the merger. The other suits are to discard the merger.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Colonel SIR, then what do you hold is METRA (Amtrak "in on this" as well?) seeking?
  by justalurker66
Metra filed a petition with the STB on April 4th (during the appeals period) asking the STB the following:

1. On pages 119-120 of the Decision, the Board required CPKC to provide the Board with certain operational metrics and data at stated intervals. To clarify that order, and to facilitate oversight, Metra requests that the Board confirm that that data will be provided to, or made available to, Metra, the Coalition to Stop CPKC, and other interested parties, including but not limited to the Illinois Commerce Commission, contemporaneously with its submission to the Board. Those parties will most immediately and directly be affected by CPKC’s operations in the Chicago area and are in the best position to evaluate the data and provide feedback to the Board on CPKC’s impacts on Metra’s operations and Chicagoland communities.

2. On Page 120 of the Decision, the Board directed CPKC to participate in a technical conference with Board staff to develop guidance on recordkeeping and reporting on the required data. Metra requests that it be included in that conference to provide input on the reporting procedures, including the format and structure of the data, to assure that the Board and Metra are able to meaningfully review the data.

3. On pages 116-117 of the Decision, the Board declined to address many of Metra’s concerns because the Board concluded that Metra’s concerns related to preexisting issues or had no nexus to the Transaction. As noted above, the Board nonetheless required that CPKC provide metrics and data to assess actual impacts of the Transaction on Metra. Those data focus on weekly averages. However, actual delays and other impacts do not occur on an average basis, but occur on a train-by-train, station-by-station basis. Weekly averages mask regular impacts that occur on individual trains or specific stations and thus may not provide sufficient detail to properly evaluate the impacts of new merger-related CPKC operations. Further, during the hearings, CP representatives made representations about
train-by-train operations, including non-diversion from the Marquette Subdivision, train length, and type of cargo. That individual train-level information will not necessarily be evident from weekly averages. To address that limitation in the data identified in the Decision, Metra requests that CPKC be directed to provide to Metra (and the Board) the following data:

Individual Train Data
1. For each non-passenger train provide:
a. Number of axles
b. Number of loaded cars
c. Number of empty cars
d. Total tons
e. Length of train
f. Count of hazardous material cars on each train
g. Locomotive consist/number of locomotives on each train
- Conventional or DPU. If DPU, identify if locomotives are situated in the middle, rear, or end of the train.
h. Time and location where the train enters and leaves Metra system.
i. Network visibility from a noncontrolling dispatch system view 50 to 100 miles outside of the Metra/CP joint control system in order to better plan the Metra/CP portion of the network.

2. For any stops that any non-passenger train makes on the Metra system, provide the location (by station or milepost number), track number on which train was stopped, and duration of each stop, including the listing of any road crossings and/or railroad crossings (e.g., Spaulding or Tower B12) that are blocked during a stop.

3. Tower B17 block sheet.

4. Segments of operations with each set of deliveries/removals of cars.

Monthly Request
1. Gross ton miles generated by the non-passenger trains, engines, and cars.

(All above from the public filing with the STB.)
  by jamoldover
If I recall correctly from the various submissions during the process, the trackage in question is, in fact, owned by Metra, but is dispatched by CP.
  by BandA
If the trackage is owned by Metra, can they not take over dispatch? How does counts of hazmat cars affect passenger delays?
  by eolesen
It's owned by Metra from Pacific Junction to Big Timber.

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  by John_Perkowski
If Commuter Rail Division v STB (2010) is any clue, Metra is pouring good money after bad.
https://casetext.com/case/commuter-rail ... ace-transp
  by jamoldover
The difference between that case and this one is that the previous one involved a merger of a Class I and a Class II railroad - this one involves a merger of two Class I's. That's potentially significant.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Moldover, I'm not sure to what extent this plays, but it should be pointed out that METRA's operating company, the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad, which operates trains over the (predecessors for clarity) CRI&P, MILW, SOO, and IC is apparently not recognized as a railroad. Hence, their equipment has reporting mark METX.

Amtrak, on the other hand, is recognized as a railroad, with its equipment bearing reporting mark AMTK, and further is a dues paying member of the AAR.