Canadian Pacific to buy Central Maine and Quebec Railway

November 21, 2019 GMT

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — An international railroad that includes a segment in Canada where a fiery oil train derailment claimed 47 lives in 2013 will soon have a new owner.

Canadian Pacific Railway announced it’s buying Maine-based Central Maine & Quebec Railway by year’s end. Central Maine & Quebec owns 480 miles (770 kilometers) of rail, mostly in Maine and Quebec.

The deal provides Canadian Pacific with access to a port at Searsport, Maine, and, through Eastern Maine Railway Company New Brunswick Southern Railway, access to a port in Saint John, New Brunswick.

“This strategic acquisition gives CP a true coast-to-coast network across Canada and an increased presence in the eastern U.S.,” CP President and CEO Keith Creel said Thursday in a statement.

The rail line includes a stretch through Lac Megantic, Quebec, where an unattended oil train derailed and exploded in July 2013. The runaway train was operated by Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway, which filed for bankruptcy after the tragedy.

An affiliate of Fortress Investment Group bought the assets and formed Central Maine and Quebec in 2014. Under the deal, Fortress would retain a tank car depot in Milo, Maine, and a contract for a 12-mile branch line at Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Ohio.