With the recent announcement that Canadian Pacific intends to buy the Kansas City Southern (KCS) railway, I thought it would be appropriate to review the few times that I have seen a KCS locomotive. We’ll start with the most recent one and work our way back in time.
I thought it was quite coincidental that I saw a KCS unit in Winnipeg on the day that the merger news broke, March 21 2021. KCS 5009 was the middle unit of an eclectic CN consist waiting to leave Winnipeg on the Sprague subdivision. CN 2978 was on the point, with 5009 and then demonstrator EMDX 7239 completing the trio. 5009 is a GE ET44AC locomotive built in 2019.
(EMDX 7239 is a SD70ACe-T4 locomotive, a demonstrator unit for Progress Rail)
I caught Kansas City Southern (de Mexico) 4557 on the tail end of an oil train leaving Portage la Prairie, Manitoba on December 23, 2019. You may know that the KCS has a significant presence in Mexico and that will be a significant bonus for CP.
I saw KCS 4805 in CP’s Winnipeg yard on February 23, 2019. My wife and I were driving around the area and I think I spotted it from the Salter Street bridge. My wife took the above photo with my phone. I included it in a post about “foreign” power.
On one of my outings to photograph the locomotives around the Weston shops in Winnipeg, I noticed KCS 4145 sitting outside the shops. The best I could do was this long distance photo over a nearby train. Note the blue flags deployed. This is Canadian Rail Operating Rule #26 and a blue flag / light indicates that workers may be present, and equipment protected by the blue flag is not to be coupled to or moved.
KCS 4009 and KCS 4620
I was fortunate to catch two Kansas City Southern locomotives on the same train back in August 2018. A westbound CP oil train was pulling out of the city at Woodman, with KCS 4620 in second position and “grey ghost” KCS 4009 in third position. This paint scheme came out in 1966 and was an “economy” scheme designed to be cheap to apply. As you can see from the other locomotives in this post, it has been replaced and all new KCS units appear to have the red / gold / black scheme seen on their newer units.
Here’s the video of this train.
I caught KCS 4692 rolling into Winnipeg as the third locomotive on a train coming off the Sprague subdivision. I wrote about it here. The train also had a BC Rail locomotive, and a CN business car near the end of the train. Quite a train!
KCS 4045 and 4183
This matched pair of locomotives was a great catch and the first KCS catch for me. I got word that a CP train was heading south on the Emerson subdivision with a pair of KCS locos. I live relatively near to the Emerson subdivision – I can hear train horns from my house – so I jumped in the car and zoomed off through the rain to this crossing. I arrived just a few minutes before the train did. The rain didn’t dampen my joy at seeing these locomotives…
My Thoughts on the Proposed Merger
The proposed acquisition of Kansas City Southern by Canadian Pacific makes a lot of sense. Their rail networks with no overlap, as they met in Kansas City. As the two smallest class 1 railways, they probably won’t face a lot of opposition from the other class 1 railways. I’m sure there will be some attempts to gain concessions.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the corporate identities of the two railways. Personally I don’t expect to see significant changes.
Just One More Thing
Here are a few Kansas City Southern resources. As usual Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission when you buy something using the link, at no cost to you.
- Kansas City Southern (book by Thad Hillis Carter)
- The Kansas City Southern: Route of the Southern Belle (book by Terry Lynch and W.D. Caileff)
- Louisiana Rail Productions (YouTube channel featuring many KCS trains)
- RailfanJason (YouTube channel with KCS trains)