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Kansas City Southern’s Panamanian rail holding has made strides to address intermodal and passenger-rail capacity, while its Mexican and U.S. subsidiaries have taken steps to boost efficiency.
The Panama Canal Railway Co. (PCRC) recently acquired seven locomotives, two RTG intermodal cranes, three Linde sideloaders and other equipment. The 47.6-mile railroad — which is jointly owned by KCS and Panama Holdings L.L.C. — also extended its Atlantic and Pacific intermodal terminals from seven double-stack car lengths to 10.
To increase passenger-rail capacity, PCRC reconfigured seating inside cars operated by subsidiary Panarail Tourism, which provides luxury passenger-rail service for business commuters, tourists, the U.S. Navy and private charters.
Improved performance by Panamanian ports and increased cruise ship tourism last year prompted PCRC’s intermodal traffic to jump 67.9 percent, container operations to more than double and passenger traffic to rise 12.3 percent compared with 2006 totals, KCS said.
Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) soon will begin using a leased Global Positioning System (GPS) ballast train — the first in Mexico and second on KCS’ network, the Class I said. The train’s computer stores information on grade crossings, bridges and switches, and determines ballast unloading locations and amounts.
KCSM and The Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) also are beginning to use a new continuous-welded rail (CWR) train. Comprising reconfigured KCSR rail cars, the train initially will move CWR from plants in Shreveport, La., and Pueblo, Colo., to KCSM in Mexico.