UNITED STATES SENATE
Office of the Majority Leader
Washington, D. C. 20510
December 7, 1967
Mr. William H. Tucker
Interstate Commerce Commission
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Tucker:
Now that the Northern Pacific Railroad has given formal
notice to the Interstate Commerce Commission that it intends
to discontinue operation of its passenger trains Nos. 1 and 2
between Fargo, North Dakota, and Seattle-Tacoma, Washington,
we wish to again express our opposition. We recommend that
the railroad be ordered to continue this passenger train service
which is so important to many small communities in the Northwest.
This action is yet another indication of the transcontinental
railroad's efforts to retreat and withdraw from its
obligation to the general public. We recognize that there are
certain laws which limit Commission action in regard to passenger
train discontinuances. We do, however, feel that the situation
in Montana merits detailed consideration. We, therefore, ask
that you institute the necessary orders for an investigation
into this action, scheduling appropriate field hearings in
Montana and the other states affected.
Please keep us informed of all developments in this case,
and with best personal wishes we are
/s/ Mike Mansfield, U.S.S.
/s/ Lee Metcalf, U.S.S.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 43, Folder 101, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
ICC AUTHORIZES MERGER OF
"NORTHERN LINES" RAILROADS
Mr. METCALF. Mr. President, about
an hour and a half ago some of us from
the Northwest were served with a news
release from the Interstate Commerce
Commission, announcing that the Interstate
Commerce Commission had authorized
the merger of the "Northern
lines" railroads. My distinguished colleagues.
the majority leader, and I were
amazed at this reversal of the decision
that the Commission had arrived at previously,
and we were rather surprised
that this decision had been made.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
that the news release be printed in
the RECORD at thiS point.
There being no objection. the news
release was ordered to be printed in the
R:!:CORD, as follows :
ICC AUTHORIZES MERCER OF "NORTHERN LINES''
The Interstate Commerce Commlsslon announced
today that lt has approved the
"Northern I.Jnes" railroad merger. Because o!
widespread interest ln the transaction, the
Commlsslon announced lts decision several
days prlor to service of 1 ts report.
The Northern Llnes are the Great Northern
Rallway, the Northern Pacific Rallway, the
Chicago, Burllngton and Quincy Rallroad,
the Pacific Coast Rallroad Company, and the
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Hallway Company.
They wlll be brought together ln a
new company called Great Northern Pacific
and Burllngton Lines, Inc. A rall network
will be created of 11lmost 27,000 mlles or
track extending from the Great Lakes and
the Mlsslsslppl Rlver through the northern
tleJ; of Western states to the Pacific Northwest
and Callfornla, and by affillatlon reaching
the Gulf ot Mexico.
In approving thls merger, the Commlsslon
pointed out that tbls proposal was but a
part of the larger picture of proposed rallroad
mergers in Western states, and that
picture was stlll evolv1ng. Therefore, the
Commlsslon Imposed a broad reservation of
Jurlsdlctlon to Impose condltlons whlch may
be necessitated by cumulative or crOBSover
problems, stemming from approval of thls
merger alone, or in combtnat.lon with other
merger transactions whlch later may be llUthorized
ln the territory involved. The door
Ia also belng left open for rallroads ln the
territory to seek lncluslon ln the Northern
The Commlsslon 's action reverses a prlor
decision denying the applications. FollowIng
that denial, In Aprll 1966, the railroad
appllcants reached job-protective agreements
with employees and concluded traffic agreements
with the principal protestant rallroads,
the Chicago, Mllwaukee, St. Paul &
PacUic Rallroad Company and the Chicago
an~ North Western Hallway Company. Subsequent
to appllcants' petitions for reconalderatlon,
the Commission reopened the
proceeding to reevaluate the entire record .
Approval ot the merger Is predicated on a
number of conditions, Including attrition
p rovisions for employees. In the view ot the
Oommlsslon, "the protection thereby atforded,
providing a.s lt does Job security as
well a.s monetary benefits, could hardly have
been achieved except for the merger."
The Commission's approval ot the transactions
Ia also subject to conditions for the
protection ot other railroads In the territory
Involved. All conditions sought by the Mllwaukee
and North Western were Imposed.
The effect ot these conditions wlll be to
strengthen the Mllwaukee and the North
Western, both as to revenue potential and
competitive posture. The Milwaukee, among
other benefits, will be given access to Blll-lngs,
Mont., Portland, Oreg .. and Canada.
It wlll, the Commission found, become a
"vlnble transcontlncntal rall competitor."
The Improved financial posture which will
result from the merger, the Commission
found, w111 enable the Northern llnes to
become stronger and more stable, and thus
better equipped to meet the growing competition
now being felt . Moreover, consolldntlon
of facllitles. ellmlnatlon of wasteful
dupllcatlon, improved routing, better cnr
utilization, and avoidance of ttme-consumlng
lntcrchnngcs among appllcants wlll result
tn a more efficient railroad .
It was also founct that shippers will benefit
from . among other things, faster and
more depenrlnble slngle-llne service. This,
coupled with the broad choice of new gateways,
ls extremely Important ln vlew or the
long distances involved and the nature of
the products of the Northwest.
Related nppllcatlons seeking authority to
issue securities and assume certain financial
obltgatlons, and to effect a number of minor
extensions and abandonments of rallroad
lines, were also granted.
The Commission concluded that the merger,
o.s conditioned ln the report, presents an
entirely new perspective ln the efficient and
economical movement of transcontlnental,
Western and Pacific Coo.st traffic.
Copies or the Commiss ion's decision and
order wlll be avo.llable at the Commlsslon's
offices ln Washington, DC., a.s soon as the
printing process Is completed.
Mr. METCALF. Mr. President, the
merger of the Great Northern Railway,
the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy Railroad, the
Pacific Coast Railroad Co., and the Spokane,
Portland & Seattle Railway Co. Is a
merger of the major railroads in the entire
The Great Northern Railway and the
Northern Pacific Railway are two of the
most prosperous railroads In America.
Between them they own the complete
stock of the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy, which Is also one of the most
prosperous railroads in America.
Mr. President, this decision of the
Interstate Commerce Commission to authorize
the merger Is prefaced by an announcement
that the Commission annourced
its decision prior to service of
the report. Its report is not available to
us at this time.
However, the Commission said in the
news release that In approving this
merger the Commission pointed out that
"thJs proposal was but a part of the
larger picture of proposed railroad
mergers In Western States and that picture
was still evolving."
Mr. President, while we In Montana,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington,
Oregon, and even down to New
Mexico are concerned with this merger,
I say to Senators from Western States,
"Stick around for a while because the
Commission has said they are going to
have other mergers and that the picture
is still evolving."
Mr. President, there were many selfserving
declarations In the statement. It
Is stated in the news release:
The Improved financial posture which wlll
result from the merger, the commission
found, w111 enable the northern llnes to become
stronger and more stable.
Mr. President, I am sure they will be
stronger but the kind of service will have
to be about half the service we have enjoyed
so fa1· in the Northwest.
It is also stated in the news release:
It ls also found that shippers wlll benefit
from, among other things, fast~r and more
dependable slngle-llne service.
How taking off half of the trains in the
Northwest will improve the status of the
shippers Is tru)re than I can understand.
Mr. President, I hope that the distinguished
Senator from Washington [Mr.
MAGNUSON], who Is concerned in this
matter, as the chairman of the Committee
on Commerce, will Institute an immediate
investigation. I hope he will look
into why this merger was authorized at
this time, after a reversal of the previous
action of the committee, and why this
merger which, in spite of the news release,
is going to be so detrimental to
the Interests of the Northwest was allowed
between two of the most profitable
railroad operations In the United States.
The Northern Pacific Railway is a
land-grant railroad. It has thousands
and thousands of acres of oil on its lands
that were given to It in order that it
would serve certain areas in Montana,
Minnesota, and Idaho. It has thousands
of acres of timber land, probably more
valuable today than the right-of-way of
the railroad. For a while the Northern
Pacific Railway was earning more from
oil land than from its railroad operations.
Mr. President. this is a callous disregard
of public interest to permit these
railroads to curtail the public service
they should provide for the entire Northwest.
I urge the chairman of the Committee
on Commerce to immediately institute
an Investigation and as soon as the report
Is available, to find out just what is
behind this reversal of a prlor decision
of the Commission.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 43, Folder 101, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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