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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

KCS, feds open new examination station at Laredo rail yard

Kansas City Southern President and CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer attended the ceremony.
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Kansas City Southern and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials last week hosted a ceremony to mark the completion of the Secondary Examination Station at the KCS Laredo rail yard in Texas.

The new building, located along KCS rail operations, provides Customs and Border Patrol employees with a safe and secure area to conduct secondary rail examinations, KCS officials said in a press release.

The new station is part of a "secure corridor" cross-border rail operations strategy, which is designed to strengthen security, reduce blocked crossing times and improve fluidity by removing operating obstacles to trains crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, they said.

"This new facility is one important element of a broader strategy intended to improve public safety, facilitate growth with our key trading partners and customers, and foster the opportunity for future job growth in the community," said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Ottensmeyer.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, CPB Laredo Field Office Director Field Operations David Higgerson, CPB Deputy Director Bradd Skinner, CPB Assistant Director Trade Armando Taboada Jr. and Port Director for the Laredo Port of Entry Eugene Crawford joined Ottensmeyer and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Songer at the ceremony.

The concept has been a focus of Cuellar, who has been concerned about trains blocking crossings, which can affect first-responders' response times.

"Laredo is home to the largest rail corridor on the U.S-Mexico border, processing more than 20 trains every day," Cuellar said. "This newly-constructed building and the broader Secure Corridor strategy will decrease crossing times, reduce waiting times when trains block our city streets, increase security, and streamline the flow of trains and trade."

In August 2017, KCS and U.S. and Mexico's border patrol agencies opened the Unified Cargo Processing facility at the Laredo, Texas, rail border crossing to share nonintrusive inspection security scanning images; conduct Mexico export processing at the U.S. railhead; streamline documentation review of northbound trains; and conduct joint inspections, when needed, on inbound shipments.