We'll have to see what happens. Maybe they can fix up up the KC line. The main bottleneck is the Ottumwa hill. I wonder can some sort of grade easement can be made?
CP Hog, you say the Bensonville-Sebula line has CTC now? I was familiar with it from my BNSF days. We crossed it in Davis Jct., on the Rockford Branch, and at Savanna. It was ABS. Some guys said that the signals would fail on rainy days. Does it seem like some of the Chicago-Twin Cities traffic is being diverted this way, vs. via Milwaukee? It could be a good overflow if nothing else.
As to the point of a merger, I see several good things coming out of it. In spite of only the ICE line connecting them, CP, and KCS have some good synergies. Both are the smallest class 1 carriers. When the next round of mergers gain steam, neither of these two would be large enough to become the surviving entities. After reading books about railroad mergers, it is not always about what makes the most sense, but the egos of the managers involved matters too.
CP/KCS would be the only class 1 to serve all three countries in North America. Canada is right behind the US as a consuming nation. They have just as insatiable a desire for cheap Mexican goods. Many of the raw materials come from Canada. CPR has a strong presence in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver), as well as serving many key eastern cities like NYC, Baltimore, Washington, Philly, New Jersey, via the D&H. KCS has a good presence in the Gulf of Mexico.
The KCS has remained independent for so long because it goes against the grain, North-south, vs. east and west.
I wonder if there is a method for the two companies to merge, without one buying the other. Fred Frairley (sp.) had posted something on Trains Blog about KCS buying CPR. There may be something other than internal finances behind this. It could be an out for Ackman, and Harrison. They have gotten the operating ratio down, but I wonder how long they can sustain it. Some of the gains have been from sales of excess equipment. Other savings have been legitimate improvements in efficiency. The sale of equipment can only benefit the company once, since once it is sold, that asset is gone. The only way to benefit multiple times is by shrewd investment of that capital, gained from the sale.
One present uncertainty is Quebec. They are talking about another referendum on separation. At least they could go via Buffalo, if that happens. Last night CPF363, and I had a conversation about this. Maybe CP could do a joint operation of the D&H, with NS. NS could throw in the Southern Tier, inorder for both companies to bring something which will benefit the other party.