Canadian National acquires Iowa Northern Railway to expand its reach in the U.S.

Canadian National acquires Iowa Northern Railway to expand its reach in the U.S.
© Iowa Soybean Association

Canadian National Railway (CN) has finalised an agreement to acquire Iowa Northern Railway (IANR), integrating it into CN's existing U.S. rail network.


CN’s acquisition involves approximately 275 track miles in Iowa. The deal is pending a regulatory review by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB).

IANR's current operations cover agricultural and industrial sectors in the upper Midwest, notably in biofuels and grain transportation. The acquisition is seen as a strategic move to enhance the growth of local businesses, provide single-line service to various North American destinations, and maintain existing carrier options.

Tracy Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer at CN, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, emphasizing the potential for improved service to customers, farmers, and partners. Robinson highlighted the importance of the combined network in meeting market demands and playing a vital role in the supply chain, while also focusing on sustainable and profitable growth.

Daniel Sabin, Chairman at Iowa Northern Railway, shared similar sentiments, noting the alignment of CN's and IANR's commitments to local stakeholders. Sabin believes the acquisition will yield benefits for customers, employees, and the Iowa economy, ensuring reliable service and broader network access for local customers.

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. A decision from the STB regarding the approval of this transaction is anticipated in 2024.

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