David L. Starling, president and chief executive officer of Kansas City Southern, has been named 2012 Railroader of the Year by Railway Age magazine. Railway Age and Railway Track & Structures are both owned by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Co.
“Kansas City Southern is a remarkable success story, and Dave Starling is the man who leads the team that’s making it happen,” said Railway Age editor-in-chief William C. Vantuono. “The growth of KCS’s International Intermodal Corridor, which links the United States with Mexico, is one of several major accomplishments that have taken place under his watch. In 2011, KCS achieved record carloadings and revenues. Revenues in last year’s third quarter were 24% higher than in 2010, exceeding pre-recession levels. The railroad has been able to absorb additional volume with a stable workforce-a key indicator of productivity. Starling is also leading development of the next major Pacific coast port-Lazaro Cárdenas, Mexico, which is now the fastest-growing major container port in North America. Volume and revenue at the port are up 31% and 35%, respectively. KCS is clearly in a growth mode.”
“Dave Starling follows in the footsteps of Mike Haverty, Railway Age’s 2001 Railroader of the Year,” added Vantuono. “Haverty and KCS in the mid-1990s won the concession to privatize and operate the busiest segment of Ferrocarilles Nacionales de Mexico (Mexican National Railways)-the key trunk line linking the U.S. border at Laredo, Tex., with Mexico City. Combined with KCS’s U.S. operations and strategic alliances with other Class I carriers, Haverty envisioned a north-south freight railroad rich with cross-border intermodal traffic and manufactured parts and products. Today, under Dave Starling’s leadership, Haverty’s vision is coming to fruition. There has been rapid growth in U.S.-Mexico cross-border intermodal traffic. As of late 2011, volumes and revenue for the year were up an astounding 55% and 71%, respectively.”
“This is a great moment for Kansas City Southern and I’m very pleased that our railroad is being recognized,” said Starling. “I know it’s the Railroader of the Year, but I’m only one person. It’s really Kansas City Southern’s employees in the U.S. and Mexico, working together, who have made this recognition possible. I am proud of what the team has accomplished to provide best-in-class service to our customers and value to our shareholders.”
Dave Starling is Railway Age’s 49th Railroader of the Year. Modern Railroads magazine founded the award, one of the most prestigious in the railroad industry, in 1964 as the “Man of the Year.” Railway Age acquired Modern Railroads in 1991 and has presented the award annually since then. Starling will be honored on March 13, 2012, at Chicago’s Union League Club. Railway Age tells the story of Dave Starling and the organization he leads at Kansas City Southern with a cover story in the magazine’s January 2012 issue, which will also be available online at www.railwayage.com.