The area targeted in the venture is what is know as the Meridian Speedway, the rail line between Meridian, Miss. and Shreveport, La. KCS is contributing its 320-mile rail line between the two locations and NS will invest $300 million, mostly for capital improvements over a four-year period.
The connection will not only increase capacity for the two railroads, it is designed to improve freight traffic moving from the southeast and southwest of the U.S. The agreement still requires approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which is expected.
KCS is known as the NAFTA Railroad. Noting that, Michael R. Haverty, KCS chairman, president and CEO, going beyond the speedier connection of the two U.S. regions, notes, “In addition to connecting these rapidly growing regions, it will allow us to extend the reach of the Port of Lazarro Cardenas not only into Texas and the Midwest but directly into the southeast as well.”