Canadian Pacific expects to get a formal response soon from Norfolk Southern about whether the Virginia-based railroad wants to pursue a proposed merger.

Canadian Pacific expects to get a formal response soon from Norfolk Southern about whether the Virginia-based railroad wants to pursue a proposed merger.

Canadian Pacific CEO Hunter Harrison, speaking while at a conference, says that he believes there's a compelling case for combining the two railroads.

So far, Norfolk Southern has offered only a lukewarm statement in response to Canadian Pacific's initial offer of $46.72 cash and 0.348 shares in the combined company.

Harrison reiterated that he the case for a combination includes the potential for $1.8 billion in annual cost savings. He was speaking at a Credit Suisse conference.

Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay declined to comment Wednesday.

Any deal would face a tough review from federal regulators who haven't approved any major railroad mergers in more than 15 years.