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Rail News: Mechanical

KCS cuts year-over-year car hire costs nearly in half


Through 2003’s first nine months, Kansas City Southern reduced car hire expenses 41 percent compared with the same 2002 period. Car hire — a charge paid by a railroad to another railroad or private company to use a rail car – dropped from $14.9 million last year to $8.8 million through Sept. 30.

KCS officials attribute the reduction to improved transportation efficiency
and car handling, according to a prepared statement. Officials also cite benefits derived from Management Control System, a year-old computer platform that enables the railroad to track cars on line, improve train scheduling and facilitate car accounting.

"Transportation, customer service, marketing and finance department employees have all played key roles in reducing car hire expenses," KCS officials said. "By working together, they have simultaneously reduced the number of cars on line, increased the number of cars off line and increased the total collection of fees from other railroads."