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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

KCS eyes 'significant' engineering program in 2015, Starling says


Next year, Kansas City Southern plans to spend a significant amount of capital on engineering projects to address business growth, wrote President and Chief Executive Officer David Starling in his annual "State of the Railroad" letter.

After installing 600,000 ties and more than 50 track-miles of rail in 2014, the Class I plans to install 550,000 ties and 50 track-miles of rail across Kansas City Southern Railway Co.'s (KCSR) network in 2015, including major tie programs on the Kansas City, Mo.-to-East St. Louis, Ill., line and in the Laredo Subdivision, Starling wrote in the letter, which is posted on the "KCS News" web page.

"As our mainline infrastructure improves, we are able to focus more of the capital spend on growth, including capacity expansions and acquisition of rolling stock," he said. "This year, we set in motion multi-year plans for expansion that will provide for improved fluidity and allow for our projected volume growth."

Capacity expansion will be focused on Kansas City Southern de Mexico S.A. de C.V.'s (KCSM) Sanchez Subdivision and the KCSR-UP Brownsville Subdivision. At Sanchez yard, permits and conceptual designs are complete and will allow for construction of a multi-year expansion to begin in first-quarter 2015, Starling wrote. Regarding Brownsville Subdivision trackage rights, the first phase of capacity work is nearing completion.

"We are working diligently to finalize agreements with UP to allow for construction of several more projects to build capacity through this portion of the network," Starling said.

Additional KCSR capacity programs to be completed next year include the Vandervoort siding extension in Arkansas; a new 10,000-foot main track at Knoche Yard in Kansas City; a new 8,500-foot R&D track and customs inspection facility in Laredo, Texas; and a new 8,500-foot storage track and crossovers at the Kansas City intermodal facility.

For KCSM, the Class I in 2015 plans to install 295,000 ties and 127 track-kilometers of rail across the railroad's system in Mexico.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/23/2014