Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today's Train of Thought- Deep in the Heart of Texas, August 25, 2012

Today's train of thought features what could easily be one of America's most overlooked Class 1 railroads. Despite boasting more than 3200 miles of track, the Kansas City Southern operates mostly in the MidSouth, parts of Texas and some of the Midwest. Of course- that's not including some of KCS's subsidiaries that have been acquired in the past decade such as the Texas Mexican Railroad or their more than 2600 mile Mexican subsidiary- KCS de Mexico.

Traffic along the original KCS route between Kansas City and Shreveport, LA [with lines branching off to New Orleans, Fort Worth and the Texas Gulf coast at Port Arthur- NANESB!] includes coal, aggregates, plastics, wheat, auto parts, chemicals, corn and intermodal traffic. The 1990s saw the KCS expand considerably with the acquisition of former Illinois Central lines between Shreveport and Meridian, MS (formerly Midsouth Rail) and Kansas City and St Louis (formerly the Gateway Eastern).

Fort Worth is about as far west as the KCS goes- at least on the American side of the border. And it is just to the north of here that contributor Chris Starnes caught this duo of  SD40-2s heading north on BNSF trackage rights at Justin, TX on a stormy July 2008 afternoon. The lead unit- SD40-2 #3061- is in the slightly newer Kansas City Southern grey with yellow trim paint scheme while the trailing SD40 is in the older all-white version with red letters. The train still has a few miles to go before reaching home rails at Wylie, TX.

With the recent expansion, KCS has purchased newer motive power from GE that's in the company's eye-catching orange black and yellow 'Southern Belle' livery reminiscent of the KCS early streamliners.

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