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May 19, 2017 3:08 PM, EDT
Kansas City Southern Invests Money to Improve Railroad Tracks
Kansas City Southern announced a $24.6 million investment to replace cross ties and improve crossings on the railway track between Neosho, Mo., and Blanchard, La.

Crews will begin May 30 and work could last up to four months, including projects in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

Kansas City Southern will replace about 7.7 miles of rail and 90,000 cross ties, as well as improvements to more than 130 road crossings.

“KCS, through its U.S. and Mexican subsidiaries, continues to invest in capital projects to expand network capacity, keep maintenance in a regular and healthy cycle and enhance the safety of our operation,” said CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “These investments also help us be an economic growth partner to our customers and the communities through which we operate.”

However, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Songer recently said at the Wells Fargo Industrial Conference that the company would look to reduce capital expenditures as a percentage of revenue to close the gap with competitors. Songer pointed to $40 million in spending related to positive train control and $55 million invested in a rail yard for Sasol Chemicals USA as capital expenditures are unlikely to be repeated in the future. He also told Wells Fargo that the railway wouldn’t add any new locomotives in 2017.