Major Mergers

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Major Railroad Mergers and Consolidations

The STB has exclusive jurisdiction over railroad mergers. Under revised merger rules adopted in 2001, the STB will not approve a merger application involving Class 1 railroads (major merger) unless the transaction is shown to be in the public interest. STB merger review involves rigorous scrutiny of the proposal and allows for public participation.

As part of any merger review, the merger rules require the railroads to submit a service assurance plan. The merger rules also provide for the STB to impose conditions upon a merger, as appropriate, and oversee the combined carriers' operations for a period of at least 5 years following the merger.

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Key Merger Statutes, Regulations, and Related Materials:

  Federal Statutes
    • 49 U.S.C §§ 11321-11328

  STB railroad merger regulations
    • 49 C.F.R. § 1180

  2001 Decision: Revised Merger Rules
    •STB Docket EP 582 (Sub-No. 1)

  2001 Summary of Merger Rules

Potential Merger between Canadian Pacific Railway and Norfolk Southern Railway

The STB was aware of a recent initiative by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) to merge with Norfolk Southern Railway (NS). Many stakeholders submitted correspondence to the STB about this proposal, including members of Congress, State and local officials, shippers, and members of the public.

On March 2, 2016, CP submitted a filing to the STB asking for formal legal guidance on an aspect of the potential transaction. However, on April 11, 2016, CP filed a motion to withdraw its request, stating that its Board of Directors voted unanimously to cease efforts to pursue discussions with NS regarding a merger. On the same day, CP issued a press release stating that it was terminating its efforts to merge with NS. The STB granted CP's withdrawal request on April 13, 2016, and dismissed the proceeding.

CP did not, at any point, submit a formal merger application to the STB for the proposed transaction.