• CN to sell 850 miles of lines in the Upper Midwest

  • Discussion relating to the Canadian National, past and present. Also includes discussion of Illinois Central and Grand Trunk Western and other subsidiary roads (including Bessemer & Lake Erie and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway). Official site: WWW.CN.CA
Discussion relating to the Canadian National, past and present. Also includes discussion of Illinois Central and Grand Trunk Western and other subsidiary roads (including Bessemer & Lake Erie and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway). Official site: WWW.CN.CA

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by Shortline614
 
https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... an-ontario From Trains Magazine (It's behind a paywall.)

CN wants to sell 850 miles of mostly ex-Wisconsin Central track in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario. They did not say which specific lines will be offered. CN wants all the trackage sold in one year.

The line sales are certainly a part of a plan to shore up CN's finances, as they lost 450$ this quarter, mostly due to the COVID economic downturn.

However, I wonder if CN needs cash in order to invest in other acquisitions? They have been trying to acquire CSX's Montreal-Syracuse line. They also reportedly put out a bid for the CMQ when it was up for sale. The philosophy being: "Let's shed the lines we own but don't have interest in, so that we can acquire lines that we do have interest in that we don't own."

I'd expect all the Upper Peninsula Lines, and the former Algoma Central Railroad to go. I think the line to Arcadia, Wisconsin will be safe due to intermodal.
  by eolesen
 
Will be interesting to see if the WisDOT picks up any of the Wisconsin trackage for E&LS or maybe WSOR to operate. That's been discussed in other forums for a while.
  by mtuandrew
 
I could definitely see E&LS and LS&I being asked to operate the northern Wisconsin and Michigan lines, and WSOR to take on the former GB&W. I also wonder if CN is considering shredding the ex-CC&P line to Omaha & Sioux City again.
  by Cowford
 
The line sales are certainly a part of a plan to shore up CN's finances, as they lost 450$ this quarter, mostly due to the COVID economic downturn.
CN did not report a loss. CN's net income was $540M, and that's after a one-time $486M charge on assets being marked for sale.
  by OldHeadRailroader
 
I've been waiting for this moment for 15 years, so glad many Wisconsin branch lines will be sold off to a shortline operator! The Bradley and Ashland Subs will rise again under G&W, Watco, Progressive Rail or E&LS ownership, like when WC ran 100 car trains Ashland southward into Prentice and Wausau! You can bet they will be bidding on it. Maybe the Rhinelander roundhouse will become a repair facility for the new operator, we can always dream! Not sure why CN would want to keep the Dresser, Manitowoc and Neenah-Green Bay north lines into the UP, car loadings have been down for years under CN ownership and it's an under utilized secondary main backwater. No IM ramp in GB, ore traffic is way down, numerous lost business due to multiple rate increases in the CN era, why do they keep it when they would still get the cars at interchange anyway?! WC is coming back now reincarnated.