The NAFTA Railway: All railroads lead to Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A major hub for North American trade sits in the river bottoms near downtown Kansas City. Here, the sprawling Knoche Yard accommodates long rows of engines and rail freight. Some trains are reconfiguring their rail cars as they continue their routes from city to city. And south of Kansas City, at the site of a former U.S. Air Force base, containers carrying important freight are lifted on and off trucks as they interchange with intermodal rail service.
Some shipments at this Kansas City juncture are on a much longer journey, spanning Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
These rails mark the southernmost stop on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which stretches from Montreal to Vancouver, reaches down through the Midwest, and terminates in Kansas City.
Missouri-based Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) runs from Kansas City all the way to Mexico, connecting to terminals on both the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Canadian National Railway (CN), which ties to Canadian ports in Prince Rupert and Halifax, is also relatively close, as it passes east of St. Louis, where Kansas City Southern has a rail connection.
While numerous other rail line combinations also carry goods between the three nations, the rail connections here are particularly important and befitting its nickname: The NAFTA Railway.