This report is taken from the Aug. 10 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

On August 1, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) filed a petition (pdf) with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to prevent Union Pacific Railroad (UP) from blocking grain shipments to the ports of Houston and Galveston, TX (Houston/Galveston).

The route involves a UP line that CPKC believes it has rights to use.

In 1988, when UP acquired the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad (MKT), the Interstate Commerce Commission (STB’s predecessor) granted trackage rights to the Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCS).

The rights enabled KCS to move grain from Kansas City to the ports of Houston/Galveston by relying on a UP-owned line between Beaumont, TX, and the ports.

The access rights were intended to preserve competition following the UP-MKT merger.

According to CPKC, KCS used these rights “somewhat sporadically” over the last 35 years.

However, the merger between the Canadian Pacific Railroad (CP) and KCS has renewed shippers’ interest in single-line service from the Upper Midwest to Houston/Galveston.

UP has until August 14 to reply to the petition.

To allow shippers to plan for the upcoming fall harvest, CPKC is requesting that STB issue a decision no later than August 31.