What kinds of freight does the Kansas City Southern specialize in carrying?

Railroadforums.com is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

punchy71

New Member
Greetings,
What kinds of freight did the Kansas City Southern (KCS) railroad carry both in the past and present to make it such an overwhelming success that it is today? Is there a particular kind of freight that it specialized in that made it what it is today?
Thank you
 

ecofreak

New Member
KCS freight

Greetings,
What kinds of freight did the Kansas City Southern (KCS) railroad carry both in the past and present to make it such an overwhelming success that it is today? Is there a particular kind of freight that it specialized in that made it what it is today?
Thank you
KCS has always been big into hauling chemicals from the Gulf coast.
 

EMDGP30

Active Member
What is it carrying from out of deep in the heart of Mexico up into Kansas City?
KCS gets a lot of automotive industry traffic in and out of Mexico.

KCS really took off when they acquired the Mid-South Rail Corp (MSRC) in the mid-90s. After heavily upgrading the line KCS began running COFC/TOFC traffic between Shreveport, Louisiana and connecting with Norfolk Southern in Meridian, Mississippi.
 

Midsouth fan

Engr/'duc/brkmn/DS
KCS gets a lot of automotive industry traffic in and out of Mexico.

KCS really took off when they acquired the Mid-South Rail Corp (MSRC) in the mid-90s. After heavily upgrading the line KCS began running COFC/TOFC traffic between Shreveport, Louisiana and connecting with Norfolk Southern in Meridian, Mississippi.
They really didn't wait to upgrade the line before they start hauling intermodal on the MidSouth line. It MIGHT have been 6-months after the acquisition that the very 1st pig-train...known then as trains #7 & #8, and now known as the I-DAAT/I-ATDA respectively, ran through my hometown. I even took a picture of it that day.

Before the acquisition, the MidSouth and KCS ran a test train from Shreveport to Meridian, MS. It was pulled by solid-white KCS 4004 and had 6 trailers in tow. It took a little over 11 hours to make the trip! Needless to say no one was impressed by that performance.
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
KCS has direct lines to Mexico and serves the automobile industry on both sides of the border. Thru Texas, they carry coil steel into Mexico a lot, and loaded autoracks back north. As mentioned, they are strong in the chemical traffic around the Texas/Louisiana coast. I believe what made KCS the major player it is today is the merger of the US and Mexican railroads (KCS, TexMex and TFM) into a single, integrated carrier.
 
This is an interesting topic regarding the "forgotten Class I" - the KCS.

Now that they enjoy some kind of trackage arrangement over the former MILW, they are in a position to interchange traffic with the SOO (MILW) at either Twin Cities or Chicago affording participation in Lakes to Gulf traffic.

But the fact remains with KCS's "over hill over dale" through the Ozarks, they cannot handle a ton mile of freight as economically as can the CN/IC where the traffic "rolls on down to the sea" - and for NB traffic, maybe somewhere in Southern Illinois is at 1000ft elevation.

However, what could prove to be KCS's "Ace in the hole" is its acquisition of the NdeM lines in Mexico. In addition to the auto traffic they enjoy, and for that matter throw in some household appliances, the Ace can be the Port of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacán . This deepwater maritime port "belongs" to KCS. While of course all West Coast maritime traffic is in jeopardy in a post-PANAMAX world, there remains a possibility that a lot of East Coast ports are getting ready to throw a big party. But will anyone come?

The West Coast ports, nor are the railroads serving them such as BNSF and UP, about to take that diversion lightly. For Asian manufactured goods, including "Frozen" dolls, better handling time should be reasonable for delivery than Trans Canal and to whatever East or Gulf port the maritime operators have in mind.

A Mexican port simply will have a more favorable cost structure than that of a US. Stevedorio Jose simply does not earn the same as does Longshoreman Joe - again KCS "owns" access to this port.

But alas, there is an "800lb gorilla" in the room - and that is the unstable political arena of contemporary Mexico - and the State of Michoacán is especially so.

disclaimer: author holds long position KSU
 
Last edited by a moderator:




RailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

Top