Moratorium on rail mergers

by Stormy Wylie
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WASHINGTON — Spurred by the proposed merger of Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Canadian National Railway, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board on March 17 declared a moratorium on railroad mergers that could last up to 15 months until it adopts new rules for merger proceedings.

Chairwoman Linda J. Morgan noted that the railroad industry has consolidated aggressively in recent years, leaving only six railroads in the U.S. and Canada. She said shippers have not yet fully recovered from the service disruptions from the last round of mergers.