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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Former mayor urges Davenport, Iowa, to turn down deal with CP (updated)

Former mayor urges Davenport, Iowa, to turn down deal with CP (updated)

By | August 5, 2022

Nearby city of Muscatine approves $3 million agreement as Davenport is urged to fight merger

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Freight train with red locomotives at grade crossing with river in background
Freight train with red locomotives at grade crossing with river in background
With the Mississippi River as a backdrop, a northbound Canadian Pacific train makes its way through Davenport’s Centennial Park on May 6, 2022. A former Davenport mayor is urging the city to turn down a $10 million deal with CP to address impacts of the potential merger with Kansas City Southern. (David Lassen)

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A former mayor of Davenport is urging the city to turn down its tentative $10 million agreement with Canadian Pacific and organize a regional effort to block the railroad’s proposed merger with Kansas City Southern.

Meanwhile, the city of Muscatine, some 30 miles southwest along the Mississippi River, has approved a $3 million agreement with CP.

The Quad-City Times reports Bill Gluba, a four-term mayor between 2008 and 2016, appeared before the city’s aldermen on Wednesday, calling the potential merger “perhaps the most significant issue ever to face our city” and saying it threatened the viability of the city’s riverfront parks and other amenities. The merger application by CP and KCS has projected freight traffic through Davenport will grow from eight to 22 trains per day.

CP has agreed to contribute up to $10 million toward quiet zones, pedestrian access to the river front, and a grade-separation project if the merger is approved [see “Davenport, Iowa, reaches agreement …,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 3, 2022]. In return, the city would not object to the merger. Davenport’s city attorney said the deal is likely far better than anything the Surface Transportation Board would require in the way of mitigation as a condition of the merger.

Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the agreement next week.

Gluba told the alderman they should “get a regional coalition together to fight this,” in the manner of the eight Chicago suburbs who have banded together as the Coalition to stop CPKC. That group seeks up to $9.5 billion for mitigation of a potential traffic increase from three to 11 freight trains per day and has turned down a $10 million offer from Canadian Pacific. In a recent filing with the STB, CP called the coalition’s request “simply untenable and disproportionate to any possible impact” from the merger [see “CP, KCS dispute Metra merger contentions …,” News Wire, July 14, 2022].

Muscatine council approves agreement in split vote

KWQC-TV reports the Muscatine City Council voted 4-3 on Thursday to approve a $3 million deal with Canadian Pacific to help mitigate impacts of the proposed merger. Some $1.6 million would go toward a grant application to build an overpass to replace a grade crossing at Dick Drake Way; $1.4 million is for other projects, such as development of quiet zones.

CP spokesman Andy Cummings, who was in attendance at the Muscatine meeting, told the station that the railroad’s process “is very much about listening to the communities [and] hearing their concerns.”

— Updated at 8:40 a.m. to include Muscatine agreement.

11 thoughts on “Former mayor urges Davenport, Iowa, to turn down deal with CP (updated)

  1. Where to begin?

    A few more freight trains is “perhaps the most significant ever to face our city”.

    He was the mayor? He must have slept through his terms.

    He needs to go up to Chicago and see how it is that freight trains and livable communities coexist with zero problems,

  2. Yes hide the women and children those Socialist Canadians are coming! Who knows you might get health care, Shocking!

  3. So the former mayor says “if they (Chicago suburbs) get a infrastructure bribe, then we should get one too”?

    Davenport gets a quiet zone, uninhibited access to their parks/flood zones.

    What else does the ex-mayor want? If the deal is bad as he says, then come out and say what you should get. Logistics hub? Passenger rail?

    Do you want CPKC to build you new schools, homeless shelters and a new city hall, just for the right to pass through your town?

    Get real!

  4. All 363 resident of Letts, Iowa will be effected by this merger.
    So far, nothing has been heard from the Mayor of Letts demanding money. Letts better hurry up and get their hand out before it is too late.

    1. Letts, IA. 3 grain elevators, none served by the railroad. Typical 3 brick building town, the Masons, the Bank and the Post Office. Important to CPKC because it has an extended siding where they stage freights before they traverse single track Whiskey Hollow to come in & out of the Muscatine Yard.

  5. Came across a neophyte screed recently where it was proposed to nationalize the national railroad network, some 100,000+ miles of track, for the sake of the 21,000 route miles used by Amtrak. What does that have to do with this? We have an entire populous who are categorically ignorant of how things work and what they really cost. How else would could any sane bureaucrat ask with a straight face for billions of dollars from a corporation that committed no crime except traverse their district?

  6. Nahant Yard located in Davenport will stand to gain quit a few jobs. Maybe the City should think of that when extorting the railroad for what KWQC TV described as $8,000,000.00 in essentially “unrestricted funds” or “political payoff” if you are a cynic. The balance would be matching funds if the City can obtain grants.

  7. To quote the late James McClellan on the Cleveland
    mitigation costs, “The clock was ticking, and submitting to blackmail was the only alternative.”

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