The Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) rail companies have officially combined to form Canadian Pacific Kansas City, or CPKC — the only single-line railway connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, the companies said on April 14.

The linkup comes roughly a month after U.S. regulators approved the linkup — the result of CP purchasing KCS in December 2021 for $31 billion. The network stretches from the Canadian oil sands into Mexico and includes crude-by-rail service to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

CPKC plans capital investments in new infrastructure of more than US$275 million over the next three years to improve rail safety and the capacity of the core north-south CPKC main line between the U.S. Upper Midwest and Louisiana, the company said.  

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Despite being the smallest of six U.S. Class 1 revenues, the newly combined company, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, operates along approximately 20,000 miles of rail and employs nearly 20,000 people. Full integration of CP and KCS is expected to take place during the next three years. CPKC will also support the expansion of Amtrak and other passenger services on the CPKC network.

The rail service also touted anticipated environmental benefits that would result in a reduction of 1.9 million tons (mt) of greenhouse-gas emissions. The reduction includes “avoidance of more than 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to the anticipated improved operational efficiency of CPKC versus current operations,” according to a press release.

CPKC said its retail service would also displace another 300,000 tons of GHG emissions by diverting 64,000 trucks to rail over the next five years. Redirecting long-haul truck shipments to rail annually with new CPKC intermodal services will reduce total truck vehicle miles traveled by almost 2 billion miles over the next two decades — saving US$750 million of highway maintenance costs. 

CPKC will bring a new safety standard to the North American rail landscape. CP has been the safest railroad in North America for 17 straight years, as measured by the Federal Railroad Administration — reportable train accident frequency ratio. In 2022, CP had an all-time best frequency of 0.93, a rate nearly half what the company produced a decade ago and 69% lower than the Class 1 average.

"Today, we celebrate this historic combination creating a truly unique single-line rail network that begins a new chapter of railroad history in North America," said CPKC President and CEO Keith Creel. "As we mark this once-in-a-lifetime occasion by driving the Final Spike in Kansas City, Missouri, where CP and KCS come together, we stand ready to bring new competition into the North American rail industry at a time when our supply chains have never needed it more.”

CPKC's common shares will remain listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol CP and are expected to begin trading under the new name and new CUSIP (13646K108) on April 18.