By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times
September 14, 2022
ITASCA, IL – Mayors from several suburbs northwest of Chicago are coming together to try and kill the merger between the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads, which they claim will disrupt their communities with increased rail traffic.
The planned merger would create the first and only single-line railway linking the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The mayors involved in the protest claim the increased freight traffic will disrupt the lives of residents. In response, these suburban mayors and other local leaders have formed the Coalition to Stop CPKC to voice their concerns to the Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis, which will make the final decision on the merger.
According to the mayors of Bartlett, Bensenville, Elgin, Itasca, Hanover Park, Roselle, Wood Dale and Schaumburg, the CPKC merger will increase freight traffic 300 percent on the Milwaukee West line with some trains being as long as three miles.
Despite the prospect of benefiting both the local and national economy, residents at the meeting voiced their concerns over safety, access to track crossings in times of emergency, increased noise, and vehicle traffic. Currently, the line sees nearly two freight trains a day, but with the merger that could possibly increase to fifteen freight trains in addition to the current Metra traffic.