On a day laden with political and historical symbolism, the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Railways celebrated their formal union.
Keith Creel is the CEO of Canadian Pacific Kansas City. He drove what he called 'the final spike' into a railyard on Front Street where the lines of the predecessor companies met. The $31 billion deal, which became effective on Friday, created the first single-line railway that spans Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Creel honoured Kansas City's rich railroad history by evoking both the 1869 completion of the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad and the 1885 opening of the Canadian Transcontinental Line.
This combination is all about growth and jobs. Creel stated that it's all about jobs in Kansas City. Our U.S. headquarters is located here, and will be the center of this transformational system. "It is about the opportunity for our railroaders to grow, and for their families to create value," Creel said. Our customers have options to grow and reach new market. "Growth is defined by the combination of new markets and competitive options. It also includes new long-haul single-line services that were not possible before this network.
CPKC will keep Canadian Pacific's Calgary headquarters; Kansas City will become its U.S. Headquarters. On Friday, the company showed its commitment to Kansas City by laying the foundation for a $20-million U.S. Operations Center along Front Street. The building is designed to withstand winds of tornado strength and will be home to offices for yard operations, network operations, as well as a training facility that can house up to 92 employees.
Creel told the Kansas City Business Journal that the former KC Southern Headquarters in downtown Kansas City would be retained. He expressed his uncertainty about how many employees will be working in Downtown, but expressed the hope that growth of the company would require more space. The Merriman family and KC Southern have partnered to develop a project southwest of 12th Street on Broadway. It would include 255 apartment units and a possible five-level office tower connected to the former KC Southern/new CPKC U.S. Headquarters building.
The event to celebrate the new CPKC attracted a large number of local business leaders and elected officials. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lusc, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver took turns at the podium. Graves' presence was of particular significance, as he is the chairman of House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.