Kansas City Southern is powering up ahead of expected growth in North American rail freight.
The Kansas City-based railroad announced its U.S. and Mexico subsidiaries will acquire a total 50 new locomotives from GE Transportation, to be delivered during 2019, as well as digital solutions to drive improved operational and fuel efficiency.
The companies cited a 5% increase in rail freight volume in 2017 and expected continued growth in 2018. “The advanced locomotives will help KCS deliver on its expected future growth, while driving operational efficiencies across the KCS network.
“KCS is pleased to have GE as our partner,” said KCS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey M. Songer. “This purchase will help us continue the modernization of our locomotive fleet and position KCS for future expanded volumes.”
The order is also the first since GE announced in May that it planned to merge its transportation division with supplier Wabtec.
The order includes GE’s Tier 4 Evolution™ Series locomotives, equipped with GE’s GoLINC™ Platform, Trip Optimizer™ System and Distributed Power LOCOTROL® technologies. As part of GE Transportation’s Train Performance product suite, these technology solutions optimize power distribution, train handling, brake control and fuel utilization.
“This agreement will expand our relationship with KCS, drive operational efficiency across their system, and further meet the needs of their future growth,” said Rafael Santana, president and CEO of GE Transportation. “Our leading Tier 4 locomotives will give KCS the productivity and reliability needed to move and grow with its customers.”
The locomotives will be built at the GE Manufacturing Solutions facility in Fort Worth, Texas beginning in 2018. The first units are expected to be delivered in early 2019.