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Now UP says RR mergers represent insanity

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – April 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Now the UP says merger isn’t such a good idea when it’s somebody else who’s doing the merging

Four years ago, railroad mergers were a great idea, according to the Union Pacific. At the time, UP was seeking regulatory approval for its merger with the Southern Pacific, which had previously merged with the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.

As a result of that merger, the trains quit running through Central Colorado, and service suffered nationally. Only in the past year has UP managed to get shipping schedules back to what they were before the merger — which was supposed to reduce costs, improve efficiency, etc.

Of course, now that UP has got what it wanted, mergers are a bad idea — UP now opposes the proposed merger of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe with the Canadian National.

UP President Dick Davidson called on the federal Surface Transportation Board to “Stop the insanity” and deny the merger.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, Davidson’s UP “notoriously bungled its absorption of the Southern Pacific three years ago.”