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Kansas City Southern touts shovel-ready industrial sites in US South, Mexico

Certified Premier Sites ready for development and have access to KCS’ network

A Kansas City Southern locomotive at a rail yard. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Kansas City Southern is letting customers know that it has created an industrial development program for companies seeking shovel-ready sites near its network in the U.S. and Mexico.

The railroad has dubbed the program Certified Premier Sites, which KCS describes as sites that are larger, shovel-ready and preapproved for rail service. The sites also have proximity to highways, workforce availability, access to industrial grade facilities, proper zoning and strong public-private support, KCS said.

U.S. sites include the Beaver Lake Industrial Park in Pineville, Louisiana; Infinity Mega Site in Columbus, Mississippi; Ward 2 Industrial Park in Vivian, Louisiana; Airport Industrial Park in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Southwest International Gateway Business Park in El Campo, Texas; and Franklin Farms in Holly Ridge, Louisiana. 

Sites in Mexico include Interpuerto Monterrey in Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon; Propark at Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon; Node Park at San Luis Potosi; Puerta Queretaro at Queretaro; and Puerta Mexico at Toluca.

“Prospective shippers often need a quick turnaround from site selection to shovel ready. A KCS Premier Site saves time and money, because the site has already been carefully evaluated to ensure it has what shippers need for safe and reliable rail service,” said KCS Chief Marketing Officer Mike Naatz in a news release. “KCS is customer-focused and we strive to be top of mind when shippers need a transportation partner in the industrial development process. As part of our focus on growth, additional KCS Certified Premier Sites will be added as they become available in the near future.”

KCS joins other Class I railroads that have shovel-ready sites, such as Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) and BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B).

KCS’ proposed merger with CP is still underway, with the Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis announcing Monday that it has extended the deadline for accepting public comments on the proposed merger’s draft environmental impact statement from Sept. 26 to Oct. 14.

STB is also holding a public hearing Sept. 28-30 on the merger. 

Shareholders of CP and KCS approved CP’s $31 billion acquisition of KCS last December. CP has said it hopes for the agency’s approval by early 2023.

KCS is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. The railroad serves the central and south-central U.S., as well as northeastern and central Mexico via Kansas City Southern de Mexico. KCS also has a 50% interest in Panama Canal Railway, which provides ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.