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Dateline: March 2, 1970 In a surprise move that has stunned and angered some in the rail industry, a merger (or takeover, to be exact) took place today that eliminated the proposed Burlington Northern merger on the grounds that it was setup by the CB&Q to takeover it's parent companies. The managements of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific refused to accept these conditions and instead honored the plans and wishes of their founder and owner (the Empire Builder, James Hill) to combine the Hill railroads under the Great Northern banner. The Northern Pacific and Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy were merged into the GN, while the Spokane, Portland, & Seattle, Colorado & Southern, and Fort Worth & Denver railways are to continue their existence as subsidiaries of the New Great Northern system. All companies are to be controlled by Great Northern, Inc., a holding company, with the rail assets controlled by the Great Northern Railway Co.
The bulk of the merger plans were voted on to remain in effect as a guideline for the new company. Duplicate facilities will be combined and/or eliminated as needed. Operations will be centered on the GN's practices with the main Chicago to Pacific freight artery to be a combination of CB&Q (Chicago to Twin Cities), NP (Twin Cities to Casselton, ND), GN (Casselton to Sandpoint, Id), NP (Sandpoint to Spokane), and GN (Spokane to Seattle) or NP/SP&S (Spokane to Pasco on to Portland). It has been further decided that after the combining of facilities and duplicate routes, that no abandonments be allowed until all efforts have been exausted to locate more business on the lines. In the Hill tradition,the new Great Northern will take a more active roll in the development of the areas it serves. Substantial efforts will be made to retain the traffic base and resources of the new railway's territory. Bill B (Author)
Dateline: March 2, 2002 An additional merger with the ATSF remains an unlikely rumor.