The Canadian National Railroad is merging with the Burlington Northern railroad — the second largest line in Iowa in terms of miles. They plan to form a new company named North American Railways. Iowa Department of Transportation spokesperson Dena (dee-nuh) Gray-Fisher says the Canadian National already owns a rail line in Iowa. She says they purchased the 558-mile Chicago Central and Pacific line in July, but says the latest move caught D-O-T officials by surprise.Gray-Fisher says the state will get to speak up about any concerns as federal regulatory hearings on the merger move forward. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he also was suprised to learn of the merger.Grassley says he will watch the merger closely.as he is concerned about the impact the merger will have on railroad competition. Grassley, a republican, says it is likely the merger will be felt by the Union Pacific and there have already been concerns about Union Pacific’s ability to move the grain of Iowa farmers. Grassley says he will watch closely to see how the merger will impact farmers. Iowa’s other senator, Tom Harkin, says he’s concerned about the merger’s impact on shipping in the state. Harkin, a democrat, says he’s also interested in how the merger will impact rail workers.
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