Contact: Dennis Watson
01/28/99 (Thursday)
(202) 565-1596
No. 99-1
FIRS 1 (800) 877-8339


Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan today announced the issuance of a Board decision setting oral argument on March 18, 1999, followed by an open voting conference on March 25, 1999, in the case concerning the proposed "Canadian National-Illinois Central" railroad merger [FOOTNOTE 1: In the case entitled Canadian National Railway Company, Grand Trunk Corporation, and Grand Trunk Western Railroad Incorporated--Control--Illinois Central Corporation, Illinois Central Railroad Company, Chicago, Central and Pacific Railroad Company, and Cedar River Railroad Company, STB Finance Docket No. 33556.], and providing further details for parties wishing to participate in the oral argument.

Oral argument before the Board will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 18, 1999, in the Board Hearing Room, Room 760, 7th Floor, Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, N.W. (Mercury Building), in Washington, D.C. The Board anticipates that the amount of time set for oral argument will be two hours. Of that time, the primary applicants [FOOTNOTE 2: Canadian National Railway Company, Grand Trunk Corporation, and Grand Trunk Western Railroad Incorporated, and their affiliates, and Illinois Central Corporation, Illinois Central Railroad Company, Chicago, Central and Pacific Railroad Company, and Cedar River Railroad Company, and their affiliates, are referred to collectively as the primary applicants.] will have a total of one hour, and all other participants will have one hour.

Parties interested in participating in the oral argument must indicate: (1) the issue or issues they will address; (2) whether they support or oppose the primary application, the responsive applications [FOOTNOTE 3: Applications by parties, other than the primary applicants, seeking to lessen perceived anticompetitive effects through trackage rights, etc.], or the various requests for conditions [FOOTNOTE 4: To be applied to the merger by the Board, should it approve the transaction.]; (3) how much speaking time they require; and (4) the full name(s) and title(s) of their speaker(s). Parties must provide this information by letter (an original and 25 copies and an electronic copy [FOOTNOTE 5: In addition to submitting an original and 25 copies, the parties must also submit an electronic copy on 3.5-inch, IBM-compatible floppy diskettes or compact discs. Textual materials must be in, or convertible by and into, WordPerfect 7.0, and parties must identify the compatible format if such is being used.]) to the Board's Office of the Secretary no later than Tuesday, February 9, 1999, at the following address:

Surface Transportation Board
Office of the Secretary
Case Control Unit
1925 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20423-0001

Re: STB Finance Docket No. 33556 Oral Argument

Any party wishing to enhance its argument by using a map as a visual aid is encouraged to do so. Participants are limited, however, to projector-adaptable visual displays and/or handouts. The Board will provide space for handouts participants wish to bring to the Hearing Room for dissemination to the public. The staff of the Office of the Secretary will be available to demonstrate the Hearing Room’s projection system on Tuesday, March 16, 1999, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please telephone (202) 565-1650 in advance to make arrangements.

After the Board receives the requests for participation and analyzes them, it will issue a decision establishing a precise oral argument schedule and specifying any particular issues the Board wants participants to address within their oral presentations. Parties are encouraged to consolidate and coordinate their presentations. While the public is invited to attend the oral argument, no public participation will be allowed, except for those parties whose formal requests to present oral argument have been granted and scheduled for presentation before the Board. The Board indicated that, because seating space in the Board's
Hearing Room is limited, it will provide additional seating in an overflow room, the Brick Room, on the Mercury Building's first floor, that will be linked to the Hearing Room by a live, closed-circuit telecast of the entire oral argument.

Members of the media wishing to observe the oral argument in the Hearing Room will be advised--through a Board news release to be issued later--of requirements that must be met for their attendance.

The Board provided details about the March 18 oral argument and requested information from interested parties in Decision No. 30 issued to the public today, January 28, 1999, in STB Finance Docket No. 33556. Printed copies of the written decision referred to in this news release are available for a fee by contacting: DC News & Data, Inc., Room 210, 1925 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 289-4357 or (202) 463-8112. The decision is available for viewing and downloading via the Board’s website at