CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A new railroad merger could bring more train traffic to Dubuque.

The Surface Transportation Board has approved Canadian Pacific Railway’s purchase of the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. The board says it would help the economy, increase competition in the railroad industry and improve safety.

“Hazardous materials can be moved on rail rather than on the highways. We are better off the more of that traffic is moved to rail,” Martin Oberman, Surface Transportation Board Chair, said.

But some in Dubuque have concerns over the merger and how it will impact the city.

The Dubuque City Council wrote a letter to the Board in December of 2021 — citing concerns over traffic, noise, and public safety. The letter stated the city already has challenges with the nine trains that currently travel through. With this merger, that could double the traffic through the city.

Araceli DeWitt is the general manager of Gino’s East of Dubuque, a restaurant downtown right near the tracks. She says people in Dubuque are used to train traffic.

“But if it does end up being a significant amount [of traffic] I can see it being a negative thing for the business,” DeWitt said.

She says the potential for new jobs from the merger could help the community.

“People in Dubuque are definitely looking for jobs — good jobs — all the time, so I think that would really benefit people here in town,” DeWitt said. “I hope that they’re being safe and taking the proper precautions.”

TV-9 spoke to several businesses in the downtown area, and many weren’t aware of the merger or how it might impact their business.

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