Railroads & Locomotives Railroad Profiles Class Is Kansas City Southern profile

Kansas City Southern profile

By | November 1, 2022

As a railroad holding company, Kansas City Southern has a long history with connections to the Midwest, Mexico, Texas, and Gulf of Mexico communities.

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An images of a Kansas City Southern locomotive hauling a train in sunlight with blue skies in winter time.
KCS ES44AC No. 4765 leads a Canadian Pacific freight train through southeastern Wisconsin in 2015. Trains staff

Kansas City Southern summary

Kansas City Southern is a railroad holding company incorporated in Delaware and operating from a headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. As a railroad, it’s the smallest of the largest seven Class I railroads in North America with a primarily north-south operation while its peers operate mostly east-west routes. The company and its subsidiaries employed 7,040 people as of December 2019 and hauled freight between the Midwest, and the Gulf of Mexico, major industrial centers in Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean.

Kansas City Southern subsidiaries

According to the company’s annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it’s the holding company responsible for several railroads and railroad companies, including the Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCS);  Kansas City Southern de México, S.A. de C.V. (KCSM); and Mexrail, parent company of the Texas Mexican Railway Company. The company also owns, or partly owns, Panama Canal Railway Company;, KCSM Servicios, S.A. de C.V.; Meridian Speedway, LLC; TFCM, S. de R.L. de C.V., a bulk liquid terminal operator in Mexico; and Ferrocarril y Terminal del Valle de México, S.A. de C.V., a Mexico City-area service provider.

Kansas City Southern railroad logo


The KCS dates to 1887 and, according to its SEC filing, serves a 10-state area in the United States including Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. KCSM operates a 50-year rail concession from the Mexican government from the Pacific Ocean port of Lazaro Cardenas, northeast to Texas and the United States. The two subsidiary railroads are connected by 157-mile Texas Mexican Railway Company, known as Tex-Mex. Together the railroads form an approximately 6,700-mile network.

Industrial mix

In 2019, the company told the SEC, its railroads say Chemical & Petroleum products represent 26% of its railroad traffic followed by Industrial & Consumer Products, 21%; Agriculture & Minerals, 17%; Intermodal, 13%; Automotive, 9%; Energy, 9%; Other commodities, 5%.

See Kansas City Southern’s predecessor railroads, or family tree!

Kansas City Southern CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer
Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, Kansas City Southern CEO. David Lassen

Officers (as of November 2022)

  • Patrick J. Ottensmeyer — President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Warren K. Erdman — Executive Vice President, Administration and Corporate Affairs
  • Michael J. Naatz — Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
  • John Orr — Executive Vice President — Operations
  • Jeffrey M. Songer — Executive Vice President — Strategic Merger Planning
  • Michael W. Upchurch — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Oscar Augusto Del Cueto Cuevas — KCSM President, General Manager and Executive Representative
  • Lora S. Cheatum — Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Adam J. Godderz — Senior Vice President — Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
  • Suzanne M Grafton — Vice President & Chief Accounting Officer
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