CN, Watco Reach Agreement on Sale of Tracks in United States, Canada

JJ Ruest, CN CEO, is seen here with the different locomotives welcomed in CN’s ranks over the years to propel its service farther than any other North American railway, similar to how the IPO propelled CN to new heights. Locomotives from left to right: BC Rail, Grand Trunk Western, CN, Illinois Central Railroad, the Wisconsin Central Railroad, and the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway. (Globe Newswire)

CN and Watco have reached an agreement to sell approximately 250 miles of “non-core lines and assets” on the Soo subdivision.

The track runs from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Oba, Ontario. CN is also selling approximately 650 miles of branch lines of Wisconsin Central Ltd. in Wisconsin and Michigan.

This marks the conclusion of a sale CN announced and launched in July 2020.

In Ontario, Watco will continue freight operations as well as the Agawa Canyon Train Tour. Watco has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Missanabie Cree First Nation regarding partnership opportunities for the Algoma Central Railway (ACR).

In both the United States and Ontario, CN will play a role as the transferred segments will remain connected to CN’s tri-coastal network, safely and reliably linking businesses to markets worldwide.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition of the rail lines in the United States is subject to regulatory authorization by the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

Railfanning Review Podcast