CHICAGO — CN has completed its acquisition of the principal lines of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company (EJ&E). The closing follows the Jan. 23, 2009, effective date of the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Dec. 24, 2008, decision approving the transaction.
CN will now begin a measured, step-by-step integration of the acquired EJ&E lines to ensure a safe, efficient combination of the two rail operations. EJ&E operates over 198 main line miles of track encircling the City of Chicago from Waukegan, Ill., on the north, to Joliet, Ill., on the west, to Gary, Ind., on the southeast, and then to South Chicago. The Transtar subsidiary of United States Steel will retain railroad assets, equipment, and employees that support the Gary Works site in Northwest Indiana and the steelmaking operations of U. S. Steel. These remaining operations will become the Gary Railway.
E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN, said: “With this closing, we can move forward to fulfill the promise of the EJ&E acquisition, which will help drive new efficiencies and operating improvements on CN’s network. Streamlined rail operations, along with reduced congestion resulting from the acquisition, are critically important to the Chicago region’s economy and its continued role as one of America’s most important transportation hubs.”
Harrison said CN remains fully committed to mitigating the environmental impacts of the acquisition on communities along the EJ&E, as demonstrated by CN’s comprehensive voluntary mitigation plan, which was adopted by the STB in its mitigation requirements, as well as the company’s voluntary mitigation agreements reached with 10 Illinois and Indiana communities.
In connection with its undertakings to the STB, CN will be actively engaged in ensuring compliance with the various monitoring and reporting requirements included in the STB’s decision approving the transaction, including the appointment of a CN community liaison officer for municipalities along the EJ&E that will be affected by the acquisition. CN is committed to keeping inner-arc communities and those along the EJ&E regularly updated on key developments and milestones during the integration of the EJ&E into the CN network and rerouting of CN trains.
Gordon Trafton, senior vice-president, Southern Region, welcomed EJ&E employees to the CN family.
“We look forward to EJ&E employees joining CN’s team of railroaders,” Trafton said. “The acquisition will provide CN with a more efficient and consistent connection between the Eastern, Western, and Southern regions of CN’s network. We will apply our proven business model in implementing this acquisition using the careful, step-by-step approach we have employed in our previous transactions to flawlessly integrate these operations.”