FORT WORTH, Texas _ In a move intended to provide seamless service along growing trade corridors, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Canadian National Railway said Monday that they have agreed to combine operations.
The deal creates the largest rail company in North America, with its headquarters and leadership to be based in Montreal.
The companies said there will be little disruption for employees or shippers because the rail networks do not overlap.
Burlington Northern, which moved to Fort Worth from St. Paul, Minn., in 1984, employs about 3,200 in Fort Worth, including 2,500 at its corporate headquarters. Executives said the combined company will maintain a major presence in North Texas, including its dispatch center.
Analysts said the structuring of the deal, which gives a majority of top management posts to Canadian National officials, satisfies protectionist laws in Canada.
Together, the rail companies employ about 67,000 in two countries, and executives said that only a few thousand jobs will be lost, probably through attrition.
The merger requires …