Canadian National purchase of Iowa Northern Railway will add 275 miles of track to North American network

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Canadian National is buying the Iowa Northern Railway to expand its network in the United States.

CN announced the agreement on Wednesday, but didn’t disclose financial terms. The U.S. Surface Transportation Board must approve the transaction next year before it can be completed.

Iowa Northern has about 275 miles of track serving a mix of agricultural and industrial shippers in the state. Their main rail line starts in Manly and goes through southeastern Worth County; far northeastern Cerro Gordo County including Plymouth and Rock Falls; western Floyd County including near Nora Springs, Rockford, and Marble Rock; and through Butler County including the towns of Greene, Clarksville, Butler, and Shell Rock, then on to Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. They also have another rail line that goes from Forest City to Garner, Klemme, Goodell, Belmond and Kanawha. 

Iowa Northern’s portfolio also includes four industrial parks: the Manly Terminal, Manly Logistics Park, Butler Logistics Park and Bryant Yard in Waterloo. 

Iowa Northern Chairman Daniel Sabin said he believes CN will maintain his railway’s commitment to providing reliable service while helping connect shippers with bigger markets.

CN CEO Tracy Robinson said the deal should strengthen the Montreal-based railroad. CN is already one of North America’s six biggest railroads with more than 18,000 miles of track across Canada and the United States.

“By enabling all of us to play an even more important role in this critical supply chain and densifying our southern network, we are accelerating sustainable, profitable growth,” Robinson said.