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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

KCS marks longest-ever 'A-Max' unit train

On May 12, a unique Kansas City Southern unit train rolled through Knoche Yard in Kansas City, Mo., on its way from Toledo, Ohio, to Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico.

The 48-car, 6,960-foot-long train marked the first time that Kansas City Southern Railway Co. or Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. operated an A-Max-only train that size, according to an item posted on the "KCS News" web page.

Enclosed A-Max rail cars are exceptionally long and high: each car spans 145 feet and rises more than 20 feet, and can accommodate 24 to 26 automotive vehicles, KCS officials said. Conventional equipment is 89 feet long and 19 feet high, and can carry 15 vehicles in tri-level racks or 10 to 12 vehicles in bi-level racks.

A-Max cars primarily are operated in premium service manifest trains or mixed with other conventional automotive equipment, KCS officials said. There are about 1,600 A-Max cars used in North America, and KCS owns or leases 363 of the cars in two pools.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/30/2014