Canadian Pacific bids for railroad rival Norfolk Southern _lowres

Associated Press file photo -- Norfolk Southern, which operates in 22 mostly eastern states and has an intermodal yard in New Orleans, received an acquisition bid from Canadian Pacific.

Canadian Pacific says it wants to buy Norfolk Southern to create a much larger transcontinental railroad.

The company did not disclose the price Tuesday but said the offer includes a “sizable premium in cash and stock” to Norfolk shareholders. A Norfolk Southern representative could not be reached immediately.

Canadian Pacific operates in Canada, stretching from Vancouver to Montreal, and in the United States, serving cities such as New York, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago.

The deal would significantly expand its reach by buying Norfolk, Virginia-based Norfolk Southern, which operates 20,000 route miles in 22 mostly eastern states and the District of Columbia. Its website shows an intermodal yard in New Orleans.

Canadian Pacific says the combined company would have the potential for faster profit growth than either could achieve alone.

Shares of Norfolk Southern were up 6.1 percent to $92.23 in extended trading. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. shares were unchanged.