Kansas City Southern Railway

By: George C. Werner

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: October 1, 1995

The Kansas City Southern Railway Company was chartered in Missouri on March 19, 1900, and acquired at foreclosure the properties of Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad Company. The latter company had been promoted by Arthur E. Stilwell, and at the time of the sale operated a 789-mile line from Kansas City, Missouri, to Port Arthur, which opened on November 1, 1897. The seventy-nine miles of the Kansas City to Gulf route in Texas was owned by the Texarkana and Fort Smith Railway Company. This railroad had been chartered on June 18, 1885, as the Texarkana and Northern Railway Company; the name was changed on July 9, 1889. On December 13, 1892, control of the Texarkana and Fort Smith was acquired by the Arkansas Construction Company acting on behalf of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf. Although the Texarkana and Fort Smith lines in Texas were operated by their own organization in conformity with state law, the mileage formed an integral part of the Kansas City Southern route. In 1933 the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized the Kansas City Southern to lease the Texarkana and Fort Smith lines in Texas. This was the first time that the Interstate Commerce Commission had used its authority to override the Texas law, and the State of Texas appealed the ruling, which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in June 1934. However, the Kansas City Southern had already leased the Texarkana and Fort Smith as of February 1, 1934, and merged the company on December 31, 1943. In 1939 the Kansas City Southern acquired control of the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway Company with its line between Dallas and New Orleans, Louisiana, along with several branch lines. The two companies crossed at Shreveport, Louisiana. Although the operations of the two railroads were subsequently consolidated, the Louisiana and Arkansas remained a separate company until it was merged into the Kansas City Southern on July 1, 1992. At that time the Kansas City Southern had 1,700 miles of main track, with less than 300 miles in Texas. The Kansas City Southern merged the MidSouth Rail Corporation on January 1, 1994, with its main line between Shreveport and Meridian, Mississippi, along with branches and subsidiaries in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee totaling 1,225 miles. In 1994 the company also acquired trackage from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company in and around Dallas.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

George C. Werner, “Kansas City Southern Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/kansas-city-southern-railway.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995