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Is the canadian national railroad buying the EJ&E Railway?

Is the Canadian National Railroad Buying The EJ&E Railway just wanting to know if anyone knows anything on this subject?

Hmm, I try to keep up with the industry on a daily basis and have not heard anything but that certainly doesn't mean that something isn't underway behind closed doors, especially after CP announced its acquisition of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern. Of note the EJ&E is currently under the Great Lakes Transportation LLC umbrella, a Transtar company.

EDIT: Well, you were correct! This was just released:

CN announces EJ&E purchase

Trains Newswire: MONTREAL - Canadian National Railway Company and United States Steel Corporation announced today an agreement under which CN will acquire the major portion of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company for $300 million. The acquisition will connect CN's Wisconsin Central, Illinois Central, and Grand Trunk Western properties in the Chicago area.

Under the agreement, U. S. Steel's Transtar subsidiary will retain railroad assets, equipment, and employees that support the Gary Works site in Northwest Indiana and the steelmaking operations of U. S. Steel. Transtar's remaining operations will become the Gary Railway. The acquisition is subject to regulatory review by the Surface Transportation Board. Both CN and U. S. Steel believe that if the application is approved by the STB as filed, it should allow closing in mid-2008.

EJ&E, a Class II railroad, 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 beginnings of what would eventually be the EJ&E were incorporated in 1884, with a line operating between Joliet and Aurora, Ill., starting two years later. A number of area railroads were eventually absorbed to form the current EJ&E. United States Steel purchased the railroad in 1901, and in 1988, Transtar, Inc., a consortium of the steel company and other groups was formed to administer the EJ&E and other railroad holdings, including the Birmingham Southern, Union Railroad, Bessemer & Lake Erie, and Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range. In 2001, U.S. Steel became the sole owner of Transtar; CN bought B&LE and DM&IR in 2004.

CN President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison said in a press release, "This acquisition is good news for railroading in Chicago. Chicago is essential to CN's rail operations, yet it presents us with major operational challenges. This transaction will improve rail operations on the CN system and the rest of the Chicago rail network by moving CN trains out of the urban core to EJ&E lines on the outskirts of the Chicago metropolitan area."

U. S. Steel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John P. Surma said in the same press release, "This transaction is positive for all involved. Our EJ&E employees and customers, and the communities in which we operate will benefit from the EJ&E being part of a large Class I railroad, while U. S. Steel will be able to focus on the railroad assets serving Gary Works."

Harrison said, "This acquisition not only will give CN an opportunity to expand its service to the North American steel industry, but also will drive new efficiencies and operating improvements on CN's network. Streamlined rail operations and reduced congestion resulting from this acquisition will benefit current CN and EJ&E customers, the City of Chicago, nearby communities, and the overall rail network in the region."

CN plans to invest approximately $100 million for integration, new connections, and infrastructure improvements to add capacity on the EJ&E line and allow a smoother flow of trains from former CN lines to former EJ&E lines.

There are no shippers served only by CN and EJ&E who will lose direct rail competition as a result of the acquisition, nor will there be any other adverse impacts on competition. As in past transactions, CN is committed to keeping gateways open and honoring trackage rights agreements with all connecting carriers.

Gordon T. Trafton, CN's Senior Vice-President, Southern Region, said, "This acquisition will bring EJ&E's experienced railroaders into the CN family and will bridge what has been the missing link to connect the Eastern, Western, and Southern regions of CN's network. We will apply our proven business model in implementing this acquisition using the measured, step-by-step approach we have employed in our previous transactions to flawlessly integrate these operations."

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