Kansas City Southern breaks ground on new Texas-based intermodal facility
June 27, 2014
Class I railroad carrier Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCSR) said earlier this month that it recently broke ground for a new Wylie, Texas-based intermodal facility, which it expects to be completed in mid-2015.
This facility will be comprised of two 5,000-foot intermodal tracks, more than 1,500 parking spaces, mechanical tracks, and a state-of-the-art Automated Gate System, with the latter including optical character recognition, biometric driver identification and high-definition video imagery to improve safety, security and efficiency at gate entry, as well as being able to store photo images to assist with damage prevention.
KCSR said that in May construction crews commenced excavation of more than one million cubic yards of dirt to be moved during the project.
A company spokesperson told LM that the annual lift capacity for Phase I of this project is 264,000 intermodal units (containers and trailers), with current capacity at its Zacha, Texas location in Dallas at 168,000, although she said that capacity is regularly exceeded.
“Zacha is currently over capacity and the Dallas market is growing,” the spokesperson explained. “KCSR is seeing a heavier conversion from truck to rail. Traffic is also growing as a result of two new service destinations in the northeast that were added last year. Once the new Wylie intermodal facility is opened, Zacha will not be available for intermodal services, but will be available for other non-intermodal service such as transload and automotive operations.”
Intermodal remains an attractive mode for shippers, as it is cost-efficient and more environmentally friendly than other modes.
Bill Rennicke, director at Boston-based management consultancy Oliver Wyman, told LM that intermodal will continue to play an important growth role, as structural issues in the trucking industry like hours-of-service, driver shortages, and the weakness of some carriers will continue to shift traffic.
For the weeks ending June 21 and June 14, intermodal volumes reached its highest levels ever, according to the Association of American Railroads.
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