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Rail News: Mechanical

Distributed power helps Kansas City Southern speed trains along Meridian Speedway


Last year, the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) reduced track curvature in Vicksburg, Miss., from 17 degrees to 10 degrees. The reasons: To improve operational safety and accommodate distributed power trains on the Meridian Speedway between Shreveport, La., and Meridian, Miss.

In late January, KCSR operated the first distributed power train — multiple locomotives placed in various combinations within a consist — on the Speedway. Instead of stopping at Vicksburg Yard to await more power for a shove over Vicksburg Hill, a distributed power train can operate continually from Shreveport to Meridian to help relieve yard congestion and increase velocity, according to KCSR.

In the past, the railroad has used distributed power to move coal trains between Kansas City, Mo., and Shreveport. As KCSR adds SD90 and SD70ACe units to its fleet, the railroad can combine AC4400s typically used to pull coal trains with SD70ACe units to create distributed power trains on the Speedway. The railroad is implementing the operational change — as well as acquiring power and improving infrastructure — to handle more Speedway traffic, according to KCSR.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/14/2006