• Why Did CPR Pull out of Eastern Operations?

  • Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPR.CA.
Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPR.CA.

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by Engineer Spike
The purchase on CMQ makes me wonder why CP pulled out of eastern operations.Since the CMQ acquisition, there are now rumors of buying back the lines which comprise QGRY.

These recent events make me wonder about the motives of pulling out. A few factors come to mind, but I’d appreciate feedback. Maybe you could give me some more insight. This topic was just discussed on the phone with another member.

One point which sticks out is the secession of Quebec. At around the same time CP moved its headquarters to Calgary. Maybe the hassle of dealing with the province was just limited to the essential line to Montreal, and also the D&H.

One other point was that CP had claimed a loss on eastern operations. First they formed a subsidiary to run everything east of Montreal. They tried this tactic on what became Wisconsin Central on the SOO Line, and Finally StL&H. The last was finally folded back into the system. I’ve heard rumors that Fred Greene was running the eastern lines, and he had shown a loss by doing a track program which far exceeded what was needed to maintain reliable operations. Maybe someone knows if this is really true.

The last idea is that the company was just trying to concentrate on the long haul traffic, which is what was more prevalent in the west. Since then CN has expanded its reach. Many other mergers, such as the Conrail split have had a negative impact. Maybe now CP finds itself outflanked.

Feel free to give feedback, and also correct any inaccuracies with my facts.
  by CN9634
Some interesting things to speculate on but I recommend you to look up two items of interest.. 1.) the history and purpose of the St.L&H and 2.) The Fate of Fred Green
  by Engineer Spike
I actually lived through StL&H, and also worked under Fred Greene. When this all happened, Rob Ritchie was still in charge. I know Fred was pretty high up, but Ritchie was the one to make the ultimate decision.

I know CP claimed to have been loosing money on eastern operations. The question which reading about the above topic doesn’t answer is whether it was true market forces, or whether CP could have operated things differently to get a better return.