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Canadian National (CN) Railway Company Proposed Acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern (EJ&E) Railway Company

Background

On October 30, 2007, Canadian National Railway Company (CN) (along with its U.S. subsidiary, Grand Trunk Corporation), filed an application with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) seeking to acquire EJ&E West Company, a wholly owned noncarrier subsidiary of Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company (EJ&E) running from Waukegan, IL to Gary, IN. EJ&E was a Class II railroad that operated over 200 miles of track in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, consisting primarily of an arc around Chicago, Illinois. This arc extends from Waukegan, Illinois, southward to Joliet, Illinois, then eastward to Gary, Indiana, and then northwest to South Chicago, Illinois, along Lake Michigan.

CN's acquisition of the EJ&E shifted rail traffic previously moving over CN's rail lines inside the EJ&E arc in Chicago to the EJ&E rail lines, which traverse the suburbs generally to the west and south of Chicago. Rail traffic on CN lines inside the EJ&E arc should generally decrease. The decreases in rail traffic are offset by increases in the number of trains operating on the EJ&E rail line outside of Chicago (approximately 15 to 27 more trains operate on various segments of the EJ&E rail lines).

CN plans include the construction of six new rail-to-rail connections and 19 miles of new sidings and double tracking.

Draft EIS

The Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project. The Draft EIS addressed required environmental subjects as well as those environmental issues and concerns identified during the scoping process. The Draft EIS was served on July 25, 2008, and is available on the Board’s website.

Final EIS

SEA prepared a Final EIS that addresses the comments on the Draft EIS from the public and agencies. The Final EIS was served on December 5, 2008, and is available on the Board’s website. It contains SEA's final recommendation for environmental mitigation measures.

Decision

The Board reviewed the Final EIS and issued a decision on the proposed project. In reaching its decision in this case, the Board took into account the Draft EIS, the Final EIS, public comments, and the environmental analysis and recommendations, including any environmental mitigation proposed by SEA. On December 24, 2008, the Board issued Decision No. 16 stating that the Board approved, with conditions, CN's acquisition of the EJ&E rail line. The approval was effective on January 23, 2009. Click here to read the final Decision.

NWMC Position

On February 13, 2008, the NWMC submitted comments on the draft Scope of Study. The NWMC Transportation Committee, Executive Board, and full Board approved the letter. You can read the full letter by clicking here:

Adobe Logo NWMC Comments on Scope of Study for EIS

On September 10, 2008, the NWMC submitted comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement. The NWMC Transportation Committee, Executive Board, and full Board approve the letter. You can read the full letter by clicking here:

Adobe Logo NWMC Comments on Draft EIS

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