CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) announced today an initiative to create a “MidAmerica Corridor” in which the railroads will share track between Chicago, St. Louis, Kentucky, and Mississippi to establish shorter and faster routes for merchandise and coal traffic moving between the Midwest and Southeast.
This initiative, when finalized through definitive agreements, will have three components. First, Norfolk Southern (NS) will haul CN freight between Chicago and St. Louis, reducing the distance between these points for CN shipments by 60 miles and providing improved connections to other rail carriers through the St. Louis gateway.
Second, NS will use CN’s routes between St. Louis and Fulton, Ky., as part of a new, more efficient route from the Midwest to the Southeast, saving more than 50 miles on NS shipments.
Third, CN will haul NS freight between Chicago and Fulton, shortening NS’s Chicago-to-Birmingham route by almost 100 miles.
As part of the MidAmerica Corridor, CN and NS plan to create a new coal gateway at Corinth, Miss., to better link NS-served southeastern utility plants with CN-served Illinois Basin coal producers.
A key component of the new initiative is the West Tennessee Railroad between Fulton and Corinth, which will be upgraded to handle heavier shipments and additional rail traffic.
Editors: Downloadable map illustrating the MidAmerica corridor is available by clicking on the link http://www.nscorp.com/nscorphtml/pdf/CN_NS.pdf.
E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN, said: “This innovative track-sharing arrangement will expedite our customers’ shipments, improve asset utilization and generate new efficiencies for both CN and NS.”
Wick Moorman, chief executive officer of Norfolk Southern, said: “The MidAmerica Corridor is an important partnership that will create better routes for shippers on both railroads. On the Norfolk Southern system, it will help level demand on our busy north-south routes, while improving service and velocity for many more customers.”
The initiative will be finalized with the completion of definitive agreements and approval for the exchange of trackage rights with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in the next few months.
CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America.
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the premier transportation companies in the U.S. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serving every major container port in the eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is North America’s largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. CN cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk, uncertainties and assumptions. Implicit in these statements, particularly in respect of long-term growth opportunities, is the Company’s assumption that such growth opportunities are less affected by the current situation in the North American and global economies. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. The current situation in financial markets is adding a substantial amount of risk to the North American economy, which is already in a recession, and to the global economy, which is significantly slowing down. The Company cautions that its results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, industry competition, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, the effects of adverse general economic and business conditions, inflation, currency fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, labor disruptions, environmental claims, investigations or proceedings, other types of claims and litigation, and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” in CN’s annual and interim reports and Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN’s website, for a summary of major risks.
Any statements contained in this news release which are not related to historical facts are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties (noted in Norfolk Southern’s filings with the SEC) which could cause actual results to differ.