Kansas City Southern de México

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Kansas City Southern de México
Kansas city south mex.png
KCS of Mexico.png
Kansas City Southern system map
HeadquartersMonterrey, Nuevo León
Reporting markKCSM
Dates of operation1997; 25 years ago (1997)–Present
Length3,638 km (2,261 mi)

Kansas City Southern de México (KCSM), formerly Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM), is the name of a company dedicated to freight transportation using rail in the northeastern part of Mexico. KCSM is fully owned and operated by Kansas City Southern, who owns its own fleet and the rights to operate and maintain a rail system through a concession from the Mexican government. The majority of the rail system spans from the Mexico City Valley to the United States border at Laredo, Texas; there are also tracks that connect to the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas and Veracruz, giving Kansas City Southern de México a unique position because the railroad connects both the Gulf of Mexico coastline and the Mexican Pacific Coast to the Southern United States.[1]


The TFM logo used before KCS purchased the railroad.

Kansas City Southern de México was originally formed in 1996 when Kansas City Southern Industries and Transportación Maritima Mexicana (TMM) purchased a government concession to operate on a rail system in Mexico. It was the Mexican President, Ernesto Zedillo who proposed the privatisation of the Mexican railways because the Mexican railway system had fallen into a state of disrepair and needed drastic work to become profitable. Since the late 1930s, Mexican trains and tracks were property of the government as Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (Mexican National Railways). When the decision to privatize the railroad was made, only 15% of freight was moved by rail in Mexico (versus 42% in the US[2]).

The most sought-after portion of the concessions, called the Northeast Railroad, was bid on by many major companies, including the United States's largest railroad company, Union Pacific Railroad. This concession included about 3,638 km (2,261 mi) of track with connections to many key cities, including Monterrey, Mexico City, and Laredo. This track carried 46% of all rail traffic in Mexico and 60% of all freight coming from the United States.[3] KCSM and TMM bid and won the concession for US$1.4 billion for the rights to operate the concession, paying 49% and 51% respectively.

In 2005, Kansas City Southern Industries purchased Transportacion Maritima Mexicana's share in TFM, giving them full ownership of the company, and the TFM was officially renamed Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.[4]

11 of 14 of Mexico's auto assembly plants, plus two more under construction, are located on the railroad.[5] Automobile traffic (autos and parts) accounted for 9% of the 2012 total carloads.[6]

Key Connections[edit]

GE AC4400CW KCSM 4567 near Caltzonzin Station

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kansas City Southern Company Profiles Archived 2009-02-19 at the Wayback Machine, Kansas City Southern Industries.
  2. ^ Overview of U.S. Freight Railroads Archived 2005-05-14 at the Wayback Machine, from the National Atlas.gov.
  3. ^ Overview of U.S. Freight Railroads Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine, The Mexican Railroad Industry
  4. ^ Heaster, Randolph (December 6, 2005). "Kansas City Southern railroad has new name". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2005-12-06.
  5. ^ Trains Magazine, November 2013 (Vol 73-Issue 11) ISSN 0041-0934 "Map of the Month: Auto Plants of North America" by Bill Metzger, Pages 44 & 45
  6. ^ Trains Magazine, November 2013 (Vol 73-Issue 11) ISSN 0041-0934 "Kansas City Southern Bets Big on Mexico" by Roy Blanchard, Page 70

Further reading[edit]

  • Murray, Tom (November 2003). "U.S. railroading's new frontier". Trains. 63 (11): 28–41. ISSN 0041-0934.

External links[edit]