Changes to Northern Ontario rail closer to reality


According to a joint statement made by CN Rail and Watco, the United States Surface Transport Board approved the sale of non-core lines and assets of approximately 650 miles of branch lines of Wisconsin Central Ltd. in Wisconsin and Michigan.

This means the sale of the Sault subdivision which runs from Sault Ste. Marie to Oba is one step closer to completion.

The two companies will work together in the next few weeks to make sure there is no interruption in service for the customers.

CN plans to still be a player in the Wisconsin and Michigan rail network. They assure readers these branches will remain connected to their Tri-coastal network.

Thank you for choosing SaultOnline as your source for news in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.

The full press release can be seen below.

MONTREAL, Dec. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) and Watco are pleased to announce that the United States Surface Transportation Board (STB) has approved the sale of non-core lines and assets on approximately 650 miles of branch lines of Wisconsin Central Ltd. in Wisconsin and Michigan. This marks an important step toward the successful conclusion of the sale process that CN announced and launched in July of 2020, which also includes the sale of the Soo subdivision (approximately 250 miles of track) that runs from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Oba, Ontario.

CN and Watco will work together in the coming weeks to implement a seamless transition for customers on the lines.

After closing, CN will continue to play a central role in Wisconsin and Michigan, as the transferred segments will remain connected to CN’s tri-coastal network, safely and reliably linking businesses to markets around the world. CN is committed to building the railway of the future — a railroad that creates value for its shareholders by truly serving the needs of its customers.

About CN
CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. South through a 19,500-mile rail network, CN, and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

About Watco
Watco is a leading service and logistics company providing transportation, mechanical repairs and maintenance, material handling and warehousing, and logistics solutions for customers throughout North America and Australia. Watco is one of the largest short line railroad holding companies in the U.S. with more than 5,000 miles of track. Through its 40-year history, Watco has grown to be a leader in the railroad industry through exceptional customer service, improved safety and a strong commitment to its’ public and private partners. Watco controlled railroads currently operate over 600 miles of track within the state of Wisconsin. For more information on Watco, visit

CN Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “assumes,” “outlook,” “plans,” “targets,” or other similar words.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. Reference should be made to Management’s Discussion and Analysis in CN’s annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F, filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators and available on CN’s website, for a description of major risk factors.


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