• Who's Next on the Merger List?

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by GWoodle
From the Bog Four there will be no merger. In a depression/recession there could be a spinoff of secondary lines. May be possible some CN/UP lines to give access to Texas & Mexico.

Another target could be short line operators like RJ Corman into regional systems.

The CN/UP deal may be nothing new. Have a run thru agreement from Canada into UP/C&NW yards. Matter of time to have agreements into BNSF/ATSF or CB&Q yards.

From Congress expecting some re-regulation in crew size, train length. Maybe no more monster 2 mile freights.
  by MEC407
A related question could be: how does GWI react to the recent merger mania? Are there any independent shortlines or regionals that GWI is likely to snatch up in the next five years, and if yes, which ones and why?

Even though GWI is not technically a Class I railroad, it's worth remembering that the company owns or operates railroads in 42 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces, with approximately 13,000 track miles. It's easy to forget how monstrously large this company is.
  by scratchyX1
GWI is large enough that the new FRA emissions regs for earlier generation locomotives kicked in. I could see P&W taking over some of the ex guilford that CSX just acquired.
  by Bob Roberts
GWoodle wrote: Wed May 24, 2023 9:16 am In a depression/recession there could be a spinoff of secondary lines.
This reminded me, did anyone, anywhere (including in Jacksonville) every get a sense of what CSX was planning when the put 80% of their network up for sale back in 2018? Other than a few underused lines getting sold for unremarkable prices (the Gulf Coast), it seemed that there was little movement.

Alongside the mysterious CSX downsizing plan, I also see quite a few NS lines in NC that are underused (basically everything that is not between Gaffney and Danville). Could a national Class I slimming down be in the cards?

More speculatively, in light of Brightline’s recent success, could we be at the precipice of a new private company passenger operator in some select corridors (presumably on tracks with declining freight network importance).
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Sat May 27, 2023 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by scratchyX1
Yes, I expect more regionals, which can do business which isn't PSR unit trains.
I look at the hazelton/scranton Pa area, and expect DL and BMRN to expand.
  by JayBee
John_Perkowski wrote: Fri May 19, 2023 12:13 am
CN may need to find a partner.

Mexico would be a takeover target but for the cartels.
CN by revenue is bigger than Norfolk Southern.
  by Engineer Spike
One point which was not mentioned was the nixed CN-BNSF merger. This announcement came on the heels of the UP-SP and the Conrail split. With the ensuing debacle of the for mentioned mergers, the STB then placed stricter rules for “Major Transactions.” So far CP-KCS has been the only application.

One has to wonder how things would have been handled if Hunter had been successful in his marriage proposals to both NS and CSX, while he was still at CPR. I also wonder if he had unfortunately lived longer, if he would have pushed the issue. I’m sure since he left his protege at CPR, he would have had an easier time, having a willing partner. I don’t know the dynamics of whether the respective boards of directors would have gotten on board.

I don’t think that it would have flown. Uncles Pete and Warren, as Gilbert said would have been in a poor position. They certainly would have had a beef. Can you imagine the number of cars from eastern states which could have bypassed BNSF or UP? CP could have short hauled western carriers. The cars could have gone to Vancouver, where they then would be interchanged to a US western road. NS would have been left as the only friendly eastern connection. It very well may have triggered a round of three way mergers. One eastern, one western, and one Canadian?

I wouldn’t worry about this right now. NS, with their recent string of catastrophes has put the brakes on things a little. The big push now is trying to get the roads out of PSR mode. I will admit that CPR-KCS did get approved in the midst of this.
  by hrsn
The Canadian roads are truly advantaged by being coast-to-coast. And now that CPKC has a N/S throughline, it seems like it is in the best position to develop system efficiencies and grow. The next Class 1 merger, if there ever be one again, ought to test the now obviously inefficient E/W territorial division of the US roads.
  by MEC407
If NS and UP merged, the new railroad could be called Southern Pacific... so at least there's that. :wink:
  by GWoodle
Of the 6 CN is now the "smallest", with CP+KCS just slightly larger. So some CN & UP or CN & BNSF arrangements are possible. Connections from Memphis to Mexico.

Is FEC now the small fish in the pond? Or would they have to split between NS & CSX.
  by NHV 669
Regarding ownership, or.....?

They've been owned by Grupo Mexico since 2017.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. NHV, knowing Mr. Woodle face to face as I do, I believe he well aware that the FEC is owned by Groupo Mexico.

Now with that being said, I think it safe assumption that NO party in interest would like to have the FEC either fall under Topper's hoofs, or into Chessie's claws.

Having put the $$$$$ into the Florida ports they have other than to have them where the Love Tubs drain the bathwater weekly (readers can tell what an "aficionado" I am for cruises), the State is not about to have them disadvantaged with only one road effectively serving them. As I've noted at other topics, the maritime companies want two roads available. I'm certain Mr. Cowford, who by all indications from his postings around here, has ties to the maritime industry will support that position.

So the FEC's place in this life is to serve an open Jacksonville gateway, and it cannot do so if it is absorbed by either Chessie or Topper.
  by NHV 669
I fully agree, Mr. Norman.