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Federal Agency Concludes Noise Would Be Main Adverse Impact of Big Rail Merger

Train engines CP KCS Twitter.jpg
Canadian Pacific Railway, Twitter
Canadian Pacific Railway, https://twitter.com/CanadianPacific/status/1373591679295483906/photo/1

A federal agency has released a draft of its Environment Impact Statement on the proposed merger of the Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern. The Surface Transportation Board will eventually issue a final statement and make a ruling on the $31 billion acquisition.

If approved, the number of trains traveling through cities and towns along the rail routes will double or even triple.

In Iowa, Bettendorf, Davenport, LeClaire, Muscatine, and other cities have negotiated with Canadian Pacific about increases in traffic delays, noise, and lack of access to properties between the tracks and the Mississippi River.

The Bettendorf City Council has already approved a $3 million agreement with Canadian Pacific. Next week, Davenport aldermen may vote on a $10 million deal with the railroad. (Story continues below map.)

CP KCS merger interactive map E Iowa Capture.PNG
Surface Transportation Board
Surface Transportation Board, https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/665e5f3b1412406ea49454f573aefd35
Screenshot of an interactive, project area map of the proposed Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern (file)

Next, the Surface Transportation Board will hold an in-person, public meeting about the proposed merger on September 13th from 6-8 pm at the Davenport River Center.

Online public meetings will also be held on September 7th, 8th, and 19th. Registration to comment during the online meetings is HERE.

Written comments will be accepted starting from Friday, August 12th online or by mail (Joshua Wayland, Surface Transportation Board, Environmental Filing, Docket No. FD 36500, c/o VHB, 940 Main Campus Drive Suite 500, Raleigh, NC 27606). The deadline to submit comments is September 26th.

In its draft, the board summarized its major conclusions, saying, "Apart from train noise, which could result in adverse impacts at some locations, the potential adverse impacts of the Proposed Acquisition would be negligible, minor, and/or temporary."

8/4/2022 - Previous radio story:

This month, the Davenport City Council may approve a $10 million deal with Canadian Pacific Railway.

The city has been in negotiations with the company as CP waits for federal approval of its $31 billion merger with Kansas City Southern. The increase in train traffic may cause increases in traffic delays, noise, and lack of access to properties between the tracks and the Mississippi River.

At Wednesday's committee of the whole meeting, Davenport aldermen were set to consider the settlement for the first time with a vote possible next week.

The proposal includes a payment of $8 million from Canadian Pacific to the city without restriction, such as creating a quiet zone between Mound and Marquette streets and other projects.

The deal also includes another $2 million to be spent on specific projects. That money would be spent by the railroad to create a grade separation at South Concord Street, near the Water Pollution Control Plant. That would allow all traffic to move independently of train traffic.

Last month, the Bettendorf City Council approved a $3 million deal with Canadian Pacific.

Other local municipalities located along the route include Riverdale, LeClaire, and Muscatine.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media and trains interns.
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