U.S. ban on rail merger lifted

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government has given its blessing on the proposed corporate marriage between Canadian National Railway (CN) with Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

However, CN may have gotten cold feet since the proposal and hasn’t comment on any plans to proceed with the US$6.2-billion merger. The amalgamation would have produced the continent’s largest railway, but U.S. officials were less than thrilled with the congestion, delays and prices that followed earlier mergers in the rapidly consolidating industry.

“We are not discussing or about to start speculating about potential future transactions, that’s our policy,” says CN spokesman Mark Hallman.

For now, the railway is studying the U.S. ruling, he said, and forging ahead with plans to merge with Wisconsin Central, a smaller regional railway, in a deal worth $1.2 billion.

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