CN accused of 'unlawful' behavior and violation of US federal law
Published: December 15th 2008

UP Railroad accuses CN of interfering with legal agreement between UP and EJ&E Railway

In a December 8 filing to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), Union Pacific Railroad (UP) stated that CN has "unlawfully taken premature control of the EJ&E" and further maintains that CN had insisted that the "EJ&E cease efforts" to honor a legal agreement with UP. In 2003 EJ&E granted UP rights to use its tracks over portions of the EJ&E from Joliet, Illinois to the Kirk Yard in Indiana. This agreement included the EJ&E providing its own crews to assist the UP in its operations along this route.

UP accuses CN of blatantly unlawful behavior by taking a premature role in EJ&E decision-making which is in violation of federal law that prohibits a railroad from exercising management control of another rail carrier without the approval and authorization of the STB. In the filing, Union Pacific notes that a previous board ruling established that "such willful and deliberate actions by an acquiring carrier to control prematurely the activities of the carriers to be acquired cannot be condoned".

According to TRAC, this allegation of CN showing disregard for the US laws with detrimental consequences of its actions for some other party, comes as no surprise.

"CN has developed a reputation for showing disregard for impacted communities and now we are learning how it treats other railroads in its business dealings," says Barrington Village President Karen Darch, Co-Chair of TRAC. "This latest development should be a red flag to the STB, lawmakers and communities across this country that CN can not be trusted to do the right thing. In the past, violations of this type were reason for the Board to deny an application. Given the paucity of analysis in the FEIS combined with this latest development, we believe that the STB should do its job of regulating the rail industry and reject the CN application to purchase the EJ&E."

"We've been demanding more transparency and information and this petition reinforces that need," says Aurora Mayor, Tom Weisner, Co-Chair of TRAC. "There are a lot of unanswered questions. We would remind the STB that if a peer railroad cannot successfully exercise its own contractual rights with CN, then it is quite unrealistic to believe that communities will be in the position to secure appropriate negotiated mitigation from CN."

TRAC (The Regional Answer to Canadian National) is a coalition of suburban leaders that have joined forces to ensure the quality of life of more than one million residents in 40 Chicagoland communities is not adversely impacted by this proposed acquisition. TRAC includes municipal and county leaders from Lake, Cook, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will Counties along with northwest Indiana. Barrington Communities Against CN Rail Congestion represents the interest of Barrington area communities and is an active member of TRAC. For more information and to view the UP filing, visit