The real motives behind CN's plan
Living in Naperville, I have been following Marni Pyke's informative stories on CN's efforts to acquire the EJ&E rail line so that it can increase the freight traffic that it presently runs through the Chicago area.
The truth of the matter is that even if CN is allowed to acquire the EJ&E line, over an extended period, the rail traffic going through the Chicago city limits and Near West suburbs will increase, not decrease.
Why do I say this? Another truth here is CN does not really care about the convenience of people living in Riverside and other close-in suburbs.
CN is a public company. It adds value for its shareholders by increasing its revenue and profits. What is good for the public, whether people live in Naperville, Riverside, Barrington or Berwyn, is immaterial to CN and its executives.
CN's purpose in making this acquisition is to facilitate its being able to send additional trainloads into the heartland of the United States from the Canadian ports at Prince Rupert and Vancouver.
These ports, particularly Prince Rupert's, have been expanded and modernized. They have already taken a great deal of business from the ports of Los Angeles and Seattle. Additionally, Prince Rupert is now touting the advantage of being (via shipping routes) the closest North American port to Asia.
What does this mean to American workers and companies? The resulting traffic gains have come at the expense of American manufacturers who lost business and their employees who have lost jobs to the Asian manufacturers that the Canadian ports and CN are servicing and whom CN is now soliciting to bring even more imported goods into the United States.
This means CN will be adding insult to injury by running even more trains bringing more imports over from Canada into the United States through the Chicago area.
Please do not be naive. CN does not care one whit about the convenience or safety of people living along either its train line or along the EJ&E.
The only reason it cares about train route congestion is because it means a portion of the imported goods that CN could be hauling by its rails to the East and Gulf Coast are being placed on to trucks instead,
The upshot is CN arrogantly expects to burden the western suburbs with congestion, safety and cost problems in order to help it make even more money than it presently does by easing the flow of Asian goods into this country while reducing the benefit that American truckers receive.
In this light, it is time for the Surface Transportation Board to stand up and say "no" to penalizing American citizens in order to enrich wealthy foreign corporations.