Norfolk Southern (NS) is stirring up a conversation with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) about something big. They’re asking Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) and CSX to give more details about their idea to connect Mexico with the Southeastern U.S. using a rail corridor. NS is really curious about how this could affect passengers and the movement of goods on trains, including the Meridian Speedway, a rail line that NS and CPKC team up on.

NS wants to keep things simple and clear. They’ve suggested that CPKC and CSX bundle all their paperwork into one tidy package. And they’re hoping CPKC and CSX can give more information about how this corridor will change the way people and freight travel by rail. NS also wants to put the brakes on STB making any quick decisions about CPKC’s and CSX’s plans until they all work together to provide the extra information.

Now, let’s talk about the exciting stuff CPKC and CSX are planning. They’ve recently sent applications to STB, asking for the green light to buy parts of the Meridian & Bigbee Railroad (MNBR). MNBR is a smaller train track in the southern U.S., and right now, it’s owned by Genesee & Wyoming, a company that knows a lot about these smaller train lines. CPKC wants the western part of MNBR, while CSX is interested in the eastern part. It’s like they’re piecing together a puzzle, isn’t it?

Their main goal is to make it easier to move stuff by train between Mexico, Texas, and the Southeastern U.S. – a plan both CPKC and CSX are pretty excited about!

However, NS has a point to make. They’ve talked to the folks at STB and explained that CPKC and CSX’s plans might not be taking into account how this will affect passengers and goods traveling on trains. It’s a bit like they’ve forgotten to think about how people might need to use the Meridian Speedway and the Meridian Gateway, which are really important for NS.

The Meridian Speedway is like a shared highway for NS and Kansas City Southern, a key part of NS’s business. It’s a route that links the Southeast, central Texas, and the Southwest, all the way to California and Arizona, starting from Meridian, Mississippi. NS is all about teamwork and has underlined how crucial this corridor is for them, especially during the time when STB was thinking about the CP-KCS merger.

In their friendly chat with STB, NS mentioned, “The applications CPKC and CSX sent in don’t really talk about how this might affect folks who use the same train tracks the way CPKC and CSX plan to. They’re kind of missing out on how all the trains will connect with the CPKC-CSXT Transcon Corridor. This means they’re not thinking about what might happen to trains using the Meridian Speedway and the Meridian Gateway.”

NS wants everyone to work together and put all the CPKC-CSX applications into one bundle. It’s like putting together pieces of a puzzle to see the whole picture. They say it’s the perfect time for this because STB hasn’t set a schedule for what comes next, and they haven’t decided if the separate Western Line and Eastern Line plans should be treated as small changes or big ones. NS is sure that figuring all this out will help everyone understand the bigger picture better.

So, in the end, this is all about making things easier to understand and getting everyone on the same page. It’s a bit like asking for help to put together a giant jigsaw puzzle. The hope is that by working together, they can create a smoother path for trains and keep the railroads running efficiently.