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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

KCS takes on Tex Mex operations, new corporate name

When Kansas City Southern and Grupo TMM in late February sold Mexrail Inc. — holding company for The Texas Mexican Railway Co. (Tex Mex). and the International Bridge's northern half — to TFM S.A. de C.V., part of the deal called for KCS to assume responsibility for Tex Mex's management and operations.

In that vein, KCS has been assembling a single management team to govern service across KCS and Tex Mex to Laredo, Texas.

KCS May 7 announced that Tex Mex President Mario Mohar will continue serving in that position and as chairman of the railroad's operating committee, and that Tex Mex General Manager Jim Riney will report directly to KCS Senior Vice President of Operations Ab Rees, who will be responsible for Tex Mex's transportation, mechanical, maintenance-of-way and operating systems.

To improve Tex Mex's service quality and efficiency, KCS plans in June to move several functions, such as dispatching, crew calling and transportation management, to its system transportation center in Shreveport, La.

KCS and Tex Mex also plan in October to integrate computer systems by switching to KCS' new operating platform Management Control System, which would enable the railroads to proactively manage shipments across KCS' system according to customer agreed-upon trip plans.

Meanwhile, KCS, along with TFM and Tex Mex, is increasing efforts to speed shipments between the United States and Mexico. For example, KCS April 22 began blocking and preparing trains at its Bossier City, La., yard, to enable trains to move well inside Mexico without delay for further classification switching; TFM then prepares trains for faster northbound moves.

As it assimilates control of Tex Mex, KCS plans to do so with a new corporate name.

At its May 2 annual meeting, stockholders approved a corporate name change to Kansas City Southern from Kansas City Southern Industries Inc. (KCSI), the corporation's name since 1962.

"KCSI was appropriate when our company had two distinct lines of business: transportation and financial services," said Mike Haverty, KCS chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "The name Kansas City Southern better reflects our railroad concentration."

Although the holding company's legal name will be Kansas City Southern, the railway's legal name remains The Kansas City Southern Railway Co.

For now, KCS plans to retain its red octagon logo that includes the name "Kansas City Southern Lines" — the company's legal name from decades ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/10/2002