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Former KCS leader Rowland dies at 78

Former Kansas City Southern executive Landon Rowland died Monday after a long illness, the Kansas City Star has reported. He was 78.

In 1980, Rowland joined what was then known as Kansas City Southern Industries (KCSI). He became president and chief operating officer of the company in 1983 and chief executive officer in 1987. He served as CEO until 2000, according to the newspaper.

In 2002, KCSI officially changed its name to Kansas City Southern after spinning off its non-rail financial services businesses.

During Rowland's time as president and CEO of KCSI, the company's transportation division made several acquisitions, including the Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana Railway (TFM) in Mexico, Mid-South Railway, and Gateway Western Railway. KCS also acquired the operating rights to the Panama Canal Railway under Rowland's leadership.

"[Rowland] was most proud of their acquisition of the [TFM] in the 1990s," said his son Josh Rowland in a Kansas City Business Journal report. "They were the underdog in that deal and it gave them a terrific rail line through the heart of the key industrial districts of Mexico. It was a sensational coup that set Kansas City Southern onto a path of fantastic success for shareholders and the company itself."

Prior to his work at KSCI, Rowland was a partner in the law firm of Watson, Ess, Marshall & Engass from 1962 to 1980.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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