The story of Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) is one of forward thinking, strategic connections and personal vision. Here is a timeline of how KCS became the vital north-south rail link providing customers with cross-border service and access to every major market in North America.
1887 – Arthur E. Stilwell founds the company known today as KCS. Stilwell and Edward L. Martin incorporate the Kansas City Suburban Belt Railway.
1890 – The Kansas City Suburban Belt Railway begins operation, serving the Argentine District in Kansas City, Kansas; Independence, Missouri; and the riverside commercial and industrial districts of Kansas City.
1897 – Bucking the trend in railroad building, Stilwell completes the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad Company (KCP&G) with a route running not east and west but north and south from Kansas City to Shreveport, Louisiana, terminating at Port Arthur, Texas, which is named for him.
1900 – KCP&G becomes The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR).
1939 – KCSR acquires the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway (L&A), providing a route extending from Dallas, Texas, to New Orleans, Louisiana, access to areas northeast of Shreveport into Minden, Louisiana, and Hope, Arkansas, and a link between Kansas City and New Orleans.
1940-1969 – KCSR offers luxury passenger service between Kansas City and New Orleans on the Southern Belle, which Harry and Bess Truman used for their travels.
1962 – To pursue investments in non-rail business, KCSR President William N. Deramus, III, establishes Kansas City Southern Industries Inc. (KCSI).
1994 – Acquisition of the MidSouth Rail Corporation extends KCSR’s service territory to Meridian, Mississippi; Counce, Tennessee; and Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama, with trackage rights into Gulfport, Mississippi. The acquisition also allows KCSR to interchange with Norfolk Southern and CSX. The line from Dallas, Texas, to Meridian becomes the Meridian Speedway, considered the premiere rail corridor between the southeast and southwest U.S.
Mid-1990s – Large mergers in the rail industry threaten KCSR’s viability. President and CEO Michael R. Haverty renews Stilwell’s vision of expanding into Mexico. With the formation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and the consequent changes in North American shipping patterns, it was the ideal time for this expansion.
1995 – KCS enters into an agreement with Grupo TMM, S.A. de C.V., a Mexican-based ocean shipping and logistics company to pursue the concessions of one of Mexico’s soon-to-be privatized rail lines. KCS also purchases 49 percent stock interest in MexRail Inc., owner of all the stock of Texas-Mexican Railway Company (Tex Mex). Tex Mex operates between Laredo and Corpus Christi, Texas, and provides a link between the United States and Mexico via the International Bridge at Laredo.
1996 – The Surface Transportation Board provides Tex Mex trackage rights to connect with KCSR at Beaumont, Texas, linking KCSR and Tex-Mex and opening the way to KCSR's expansion.
1996 – KCS and its partner Grupo TMM submit their bid for the Northeast Line rail concession, the premiere Mexican rail corridor.
1996 – KCS acquires Gateway Western Railway Company, which operates between Kansas City and East St. Louis, Illinois.
1997 – With the Northeast Line rail concession in place, Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (TFM) begins commercial operation.
1998 – KCS invests in the Panama Canal Railway Company, which operates the first transcontinental railroad in the world. It will provide passenger and freight transportation along the isthmus from Panama City to Colon, Panama.
2000 – KCSI spins the non-rail financial services businesses to its shareholders.
2002 – Stockholders approve changing KCSI's name to Kansas City Southern to reflect a new focus on rail transport.
2004 – KCS acquires Grupo TMM’s shares of TFM to become majority owner.
2005 – KCS acquires the remaining 20 percent interest in TFM. TFM becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of KCS and is officially renamed Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM).