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COMPETITION WATCH: KCS, NS to improve customer service, expand capacity

KANSAS CITY, Mo. & NORFOLK, Va.-- Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) are forming a joint ve...


KANSAS CITY, Mo. & NORFOLK, Va.– Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) are forming a joint venture aimed at increasing capacity resulting in improved service on the Meridian Speedway between Meridian, Miss. and Shreveport, La. The Meridian Speedway is an important direct rail connection moving traffic between the southeast and southwest U.S. <br>
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The increased capacity will provide both railroads with the ability to handle greater volumes and improve service for intermodal customers moving traffic between the southeast and southwest parts of the U.S., and for all other traffic including intermodal between the southeast and KCS’ rail network including Mexico, the companies say.<br>
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KCS will contribute a 320-mile rail line between Meridian, Miss., and Shreveport, La. NS will invest $300 million in cash, substantially all of which will be used for capital improvements to increase capacity over a four-year period. The capital improvements will include signal systems, extended sidings and stretches of double track, upgrading track speed and other capacity enhancements to the line. <br>
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KCS will operate the line and provide service enhancements to NS, which will be the sole provider of certain intermodal transportation services over the line. <br>
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“This partnership with NS allows us to offer shippers fast, competitive rail service along the shortest rail route into the southeast from both Mexico and the southwest. In addition to connecting these rapidly growing regions, it will allow us to extend the reach of the Port of Lazaro Cardenas not only into Texas and the Midwest but directly into the southeast as well. For many years, the Meridian Speedway in Louisiana and Mississippi has had great potential. Now, with this partnership, it will realize that potential,” said Michael R. Haverty, KCS chairman, president and chief executive officer.<br>
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“This is an important initiative that will enhance fluidity of the nation’s rail network and improve connections among rail carriers. We believe that the transaction represents an innovative way for carriers to work together to add critical rail capacity,” said Wick Moorman, NS president and chief executive officer.<br>


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