rail transport sustainability

Environmental Management

Environmental Management

Kansas City Southern recognizes its environmental responsibilities as a corporate citizen. We work to achieve high standards in fuel efficiency and in reduce, re-use and recycle programs. Additionally, we have aligned ourselves with a number of organizations established to help ensure a cleaner environment and public safety.

Fuel Efficiency

A train can haul one ton of freight 480 miles on only one gallon of fuel. That efficiency means better fuel economy, fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a more sustainable future. KCS maximizes fuel efficiency with:

  • One of the youngest locomotive fleets in the industry for better fuel efficiency and reliability
  • New and overhauled locomotives for emissions reduction, fuel efficiency and reliability to improve railroad operations and address environmental concerns
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification for the heritage fleet of EMD locomotives, bringing them up to Tier 0 emissions levels
  • Use of ultra-low-sulfur fuel
  • Train handling by locomotive engineers to maximize fuel efficiency
  • Use of technologies and engineering techniques, such as straightening track curves, lowering grades and lubricating rails to maximize efficiency and reduce wheel and rail wear
  • Appointment of cross-functional committees focused on fuel efficiency and conservation to set standards, publish guidelines and monitor locomotive fueling, fuel consumption, train handling, and shutdown and isolation procedures as well as evaluate new technologies and promote efficiency efforts among employees


Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

KCS is reducing resource use, re-using resources and recycling by:

  • Reclaiming used locomotive lubricating oils through a petroleum refiner
  • Monitoring CO2 emissions from rail operations to track energy efficiency and environmental improvement
  • Conducting facility audits to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Removing all free oil from spent locomotive oil filters
  • Recycling cardboard and paper
  • Monitoring fuel oil collected at locomotive fueling stations to prevent fuel spills
  • Monitoring fuel consumption in company vehicles
  • Monitoring business travel to eliminate or reduce trips
  • Monitoring energy and water use at operating facilities for leaks and energy loss
  • Recycling locomotive and signal batteries
  • Reducing electric energy consumption in rail yards and facilities by replacing inefficient lighting systems
  • Installing solar panels and rechargeable batteries on remote wayside signal systems
  • Extending the life of railroad ties by as much as 10 years


Responsible Care®

A Responsible Care® partner company since 1999, Kansas City Southern has received Responsible Care® Management System certification in the U.S. by formalizing its Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Management System. In 2002, the American Chemistry Council adopted the management system approach for implementing Responsible Care® in the U.S., including mandatory, independent, third-party certification.

SmartwaySM Transport

In the U.S., KCS is a partner in SmartWaySM Transport, an innovative collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the freight sector. The program is designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas and air-pollutant emissions, and improve energy security.


The Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®) program is a community outreach program designed to address community concerns regarding the transportation of hazardous materials through planning and cooperation. As a community service, KCS hosts events for emergency responders, providing instruction on the safe transportation of hazardous materials and emergency procedures.