Train traffic to get busier in Alexandria

A Canadian Pacific merger with Kansas City Southern Railway Company was announced Wednesday, March 15.

Photo of snow-covered train tracks that run through Alexandria.
The Canadian Pacific railroad tracks in Alexandria will get busier by 2027, according to records relating to a merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Railway Company. (Karen Tolkkinen / Echo Press)

ALEXANDRIA — Train traffic in Douglas County will get busier in coming years due to a merger announced today between Canadian Pacific Railroad and Kansas City South Railroad.

Canadian Pacific, which already owns the tracks that run through Forada, Alexandria, Carlos, Miltona, and Parkers Prairie, bought Kansas City South for a reported $18 billion.

In its Environmental Impact Statement, it reported that the train traffic on the line that runs through Douglas County would increase to 7.11 trains per day by 2027 with the merger. Without the merger, it would expect to run 4.52 trains per day.

The line will now be called the Canadian Pacific Kansas City, CPKC, according to the Surface Transportation Board, the independent federal agency that approved the merger. The move will create the first railroad providing service spanning Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Canadian Pacific is the fifth-largest railroad in the United States and Kansas City Southern was the sixth-largest. Even with the merger, Canadian Pacific will remain the fifth-largest.

Concerns about rail safety arose nationwide after the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio, that spilled hazardous materials. However, the Surface Transportation Board praised Canadian Pacific's safety record, saying it has "the best safety record of any Class I railroad."


"It is important to underscore that rail is by far the safest means of transporting any freight, including hazardous materials," the board said in a news release. It said the merger will move 64,000 truckloads off the highways and onto rail, decreasing carbon emissions and reducing the risk of dangerous hazardous material spills.

The news release cited Bureau of Transportation Statistics that in 2022, trucks experienced 94% of all hazardous materials incidents while railroads experienced a little more than 1% of all hazardous materials incidents.

Reporter Karen Tolkkinen grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a journalism degree in 1994. Driven by curiosity and a desire to learn about the United States, Karen Tolkkinen has covered local news from Idaho to New Hampshire to Alabama and landing at the Echo Press in Alexandria in 2017.
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