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Rail News Home Kansas City Southern


Rail News: Kansas City Southern

KCS' annual carloads to exceed 2 million for first time, CEO Starling says


Kansas City Southern is capping off “an exceptionally productive year,” which includes record-breaking revenue and volume, and a record operating ratio, according to a “state of the railroad” letter from President and Chief Executive Officer David Starling that’s posted on the “KCS News” web page.

For the first time, the Class I will exceed 2 million carloads in a single year, and intermodal revenue and volume will reach record levels, he wrote.

“While we cautiously watch the economy, our consolidated carloadings continue to be strong,” wrote Starling. “In fact, three of the top five weekly volume totals in KCS history were in the fourth quarter.”

KCS registered “exceptional growth” in cross border traffic, which currently accounts for about 25 percent of total revenue, both carload and intermodal.

“Not only are cross border volumes growing, but it’s primarily long-haul traffic averaging over 1,000 miles — improving our margin and profitability,” Starling wrote.

In terms of infrastructure improvements, U.S. production gangs installed more than 540,000 ties and more than 70 miles of new rail this year, helping to increase safety and boost velocity, he said. KCS also completed the first phase of positive train control between Alexandria and Baton Rouge, La. Mexican production gangs installed more than 294,000 ties and more than 100 miles of new rail.

“Next year will be another big year for track, capacity and capital projects tied to new business development,” wrote Starling.

In the United States, KCS plans to replace 535,000 ties and 20 miles of curved rail, replace eight miles of rail on the Port Neches line, and expand sidings in Spear, Texas, and McElhaney, Mo., among other work.

In Mexico, major projects include replacing 301,000 ties, including concrete ties on the B line and in the Caltzontzin district; replacing 37 miles of rail for curves; replacing 46 miles of 136-pound rail on the B line between Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo; building double track from Rojas to Ramos Arizpe, and from Sanchez to Nuevo Laredo; and completing the first phase of a new classification yard in Sanchez.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/21/2011