Kansas City Southern’s railroad in Mexico reopened its flood-damaged Anahuac Bridge over the Salado River in northern Mexico on July 24, and immediately began running trains again through the normally busy border crossing at the cities of Nuevo Laredo and Laredo, Texas.
“If there is no settlement resulting from trains operating over the bridge’s approaches, KCSM (Kansas City Southern de Mexico) expects to operate up to 25 to 30 trains over the Nuevo Laredo gateway by late Monday night,” the carrier said.
That would also allow it to remove all service embargos it placed on shipments for that route July 3, after the region flooded in the wake of Hurricane Alex. The KCS bridge at Laredo was not damaged, but trains could not move over it until the Anahuac repairs were completed about 50 miles below the border.
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KCS President and Chief Operating Officer David L. Starling said getting to this point had not been easy. “Given the magnitude of the damage to this bridge, coupled with the difficult conditions under which our crews had to work, it is a great accomplishment that we were able to put the Anahuac Bridge back into service this weekend,” he said.
Both rail and highway service were initially disrupted by Alex and followup storms, which left heavy infrastructure damage in the major industrial region of Monterrey and Saltillo as well as on the rail lines to Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros.
Truck service resumed earlier across the busy Laredo gateway, but KCS and Union Pacific Railroad detoured as much rail traffic as possible through Eagle Pass, Texas, or through the limited capacity route to Matamoros and Brownsville.
It may still take some time to get all service back to normal operating levels. “We will continue to work very closely with each of our customers to resume the normal flow of traffic to their facilities,” Jose Zozaya, president and executive representative of KCSM, said.
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