September 14, 2022 – Area citizens gathered at the Montgomery Event Venue on Wednesday evening to learn more about how the proposed merger between railroad giants Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern will affect Excelsior Springs. The Surface Transportation Board’s Office (STB) sent representatives to several communities along the railway to share a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and to hear concerns and gather additional information as it pertains to the merger. The proposed merger of Canadian Pacific and KC Southern will create the first and only rail system that spans from the east and west coasts of Canada down to the southern tip of Mexico, running through the center of the United States. Josh Waylan who spoke on behalf of the STB said that environmental impact studies had been completed analyzing the potential impacts of the proposed acquisition. Although rail traffic is projected to increase substantially in Excelsior Springs, from approximately 3 trains per day up to 18 trains per day, the STB said the environmental impacts fell in the acceptable range allowed by their guidelines.
At the meeting, several citizens spoke against the proposed merger. Concerns from individuals included fears of decreased property values, delays in emergency response times, an increase in noise and air pollution, the potential danger of increased train traffic at crossings, and threats of derailments unleashing hazardous chemicals into the community. Mayor Pro Tem, Stephen Spear added that he is scared of the possibility of increased levels of illegal drugs entering the community citing reports of railcar drug busts at the Mexico/US border.
The STB will be holding a virtual “Online Public Meeting” on September 19, 2022, 6-8 PM (CDT) where citizens can submit concerns or additional information that they would like to have considered. Pre-register for the virtual event here: https://cp-kcsmergereis.com/involvement.htm
If you are unable to attend you can also submit your concerns and comments at the same link. The deadline to submit comments is October 14, 2022.
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