Earlier this week, CP Rail’s purchase of Kansas City Southern, a railway in the United States, received regulatory approval. The deal, which saw CP Rail purchase the line for $31 billion dollars, was started in December of 2021 and needed to get through a number of steps for completion.  

As early as April 14th, CP Rail will be operating as Canadian Pacific Kansas City, and be the first single-line railway connecting Canada, the United States and Mexico. The new railway is classed as end-to-end, meaning there will be little in the way of track redundancies and overlapping routes. As well, it should reduce travel time over the single line service.  

Part of the CP Rail system runs right through Weyburn. The corridor through southeast Saskatchewan will be the link between western Canada and the southern United States and Mexico. With the word of the merger being approved, many people were inquiring about whether there would be an increase in rail traffic through Weyburn.  

The question was asked by Weyburn Mayor Marcel Roy, who spoke with officials from CP Rail last month.  

“They came down, they talked to the city about a month ago,” Roy said of the visit. “I asked them, as there is rumours there’s going to be another 50 percent more trains. They said no, there’s not going to be.” 

They explained to Roy that there is only so much rail capacity, but instead it will make for a smoother transition of goods travelling into the United States, with no need for line-switching.  

The answer from CP Rail was a bit of assurance for Roy. 

“We already have enough trains coming through our town. We already have enough issues on that,” Roy chuckled. “They're not moving tracks; they’re not paying for an overpass. These are problems all throughout the whole of Canada.” 

The terminals in Weyburn could see some extra business though, thanks to how the lines will be working going forward. Roy said he is hoping this will help with growth for the terminals in Weyburn, as there will be a link right to the deep south of the U.S. and into Mexico. 

There is also hope for one other thing – the impact on the roads.  

Roy stated he is interested to see how the expansion of the rail access will help to get trucks off of the roads when needed to switch lines or switch carriers when a train reaches a destination. The numbers were broken down by the Surface Transportation Board in the United States, which gave the final approval for the merger this week.  

"The Board expects that this new single-line service will foster the growth of rail traffic, shifting approximately 64,000 truckloads annually from North America's roads to rail, and will support investment in infrastructure, service quality, and safety," the board said in its decision. They added the safety record of CP Rail could also help enhance rail safety as a whole, particularly in the United States, as competitors could end up losing a lot of business to what is considered to be the safest railroad in North America.  

The deal could also see a shift in the types of trains seen on the rail lines, with part of the merger being a commitment to support plans for expanded service for Amtrak, the US-based passenger rail service, along the CPKC lines. Depending on the way those expansion plans are developed, it could even potentially mean a return of passenger rail service to Weyburn, something that hasn’t been seen here since the 1960s.