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A CSX coal train moves past an idling CSX engine at the switchyard in Brunswick, Md., on Oct. 16, 2012.Gary Cameron/Reuters

CSX Corp. railroad's top executive says regulators are likely to be reluctant about consolidation among the major industry players because they remain concerned about service.

The idea of railroad mergers is on investors' minds this week because of several reports that CSX rejected a merger offer from Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. railroad last week. Both railroads declined to comment on those reports.

CSX CEO Michael Ward said Wednesday the Surface Transportation Board would likely take a cautious approach to any railroad consolidation deals.

CSX officials told investors they're confident in their railroad's prospects, and they expect to deliver double-digit growth in earnings per share next year.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company said Tuesday its third-quarter profit grew 12 per cent to $509-million (U.S.), or 51 cents per share.

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