The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has agreed to examine "paper barrier" provisions on a case-by-case basis. Paper Barriers are a common provision in rail line lease or sale agreements. These restrict a tenant or purchasing railroad from interchanging traffic with carriers other than the railroad leasing the line or selling railroad. The STB is proposing new disclosure rules to ensure advance regulatory scrutiny of any such provisions involving a new sale or lease.


The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and United States Steel Corporation (NYSE) announced an agreement under which CN will acquire the major portion of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company (EJ&E) for US$300 million. The acquisition is subject to regulatory review by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). EJ&E, a Class II railroad, operates over 198 main line miles of track that encircles the City of Chicago from Waukegan, Ill., on the north, to Joliet, Ill., on the west, to Gary, Ind., on the southeast, and then to South Chicago.


The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. (DM&E) announced they reached an agreement under which CPR would acquire the 2,500-mile DM&E and its subsidiaries, including the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp., for U.S.$1.5 billion and future contingent payments. The acquisition is subject to U.S. Surface Transportation Board review, which could take up to 10 months.