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The History of Kansas City Southern
Published by: Indiana University Press
The remarkable story of the Kansas City Southern tells of a company that from day 1 followed its own path, led by a succession of visionaries who were not afraid to take risks in pursuit of the railroad company's success.
Without the resources of the earlier land grant railroads, the Kansas City–based company forged a unique approach to growing its franchise. It compensated for its modest size by developing an outsize, personalized commitment to its customers, suppliers, and rail partners. While larger railroads, with their vast rail networks, sometimes cajoled customers and smaller railroads into conforming to their service offerings, Kansas City Southern sought to develop mutually beneficial relationships with multiple constituents.
Vision Accomplished is the story of a succession of individuals who through the strength of their personalities, vision, courage, and character led the railroad through one perilous situation after another and in so doing crafted a corporate culture truly unique in the railroad industry. It's a story of a railroad that by rights should have died dozens of times but continued to survive and grew to become a major participant in the North American supply chain.
1. The Story Begins
2. Arthur E. Stillwell: Early Years
3. The Push South, 1860-1893
4. The Final Drive to the Gulf, 1894-1897
5. Receivership: The End of the Line for KCP&G
6. Stilwell's Final Years
7. The Dawn of a New Century Brings Prosperity
8. William N. Deramus II: An Era Begins
9. William N. Deramus III
10. The KCSI Years
11. Years of Turmoil, 1960-1979
13. The Great Contraction: Consolidation in the 1990s
14. A Change at the Top: The Haverty Era Begins
15. Growth on the Fast Track
16. The Panama Canal Railway Company
17. The Birth of the Mexican Railroad System
18. The Game Changer
19. From KCSI to KCS; From TFM to KCSM
20. KCS Turns a Page
21. KCS Looks to the Future
22. Service Begets Growth
23. Game On: Private Equity Strikes First
24. The Canadians Pay a Visit—and Decide to Stay
25. The Curtain Falls on a Great Adventure
A Note on Sources
William Galligan was employed at Kansas City Southern from 1992 to 2018, responsible for the company's investor relations program as well as being involved in special projects. Now retired, he now splits his time between Kansas City, MO, and Guilford, CT.
"Vision Accomplished is delightful. Galligan shows us how this small but feisty railroad survived over the not-so-kind years as the character and personalities of its leaders kept a long-standing company culture intact. Emphasizing how they met the challenge without burying the reader in numbers makes it a page turner. An ideal book for any MBA candidate."~W. C. (Bill) Lyman
"With the publication of Vision Accomplished, the KCS story is made eminently readable by no less than Bill Galligan who led its communications team. While the book brings to life its unique personalities, markets and culture, more importantly it makes the company's evolution easier to understand by highlighting underlying themes, my favorites being long term thinking; respect; culture; non-traditional strategy; and lack of false modesty. With KCS' Vision Accomplished as the result of the CPKC merger, the timing is good for this book to inspire others'. Hopefully the quality of their work will be as good as Mr. Galligan's."~Henry Posner III – Chairman, Iowa Interstate Railroad, and Adjunct Professor, Dietrich College of the Humanities, Carnegie Mellon University
"Bill Galligan has opened a window on the history of an important railroad that historians and journalists have mostly ignored. His account of how Kansas City Southern survived one crisis after another and then flourished in this century is riveting. Read it and be amazed at what determined people can do."~Fred Frailey – Formerly Special Correspondent and Columnist, Trains magazine and author of Last Train to Texas