Ballads have been written about the streets of Laredo, but not its rails. There's a reason for that. The rail border crossing at Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has long been notorious for its congestion.
That may change. The Kansas City Southern de Mexico railroad has spearheaded an initiative to improve cross-border transit times, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The AAR reports that the focus of the changes is the Sanchez Yard, located south of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico, which is the principal inspection and switching yard for southbound moves into Mexico. Mexican Customs had previously restricted import inspections to two tracks inside the Sanchez Yard, making yard switching necessary. And because Customs had only one inspector shift per day, only a limited number of cars could be cleared, increasing dwell time and causing congestion in the yard, according to the AAR's report.
Since December, however, Mexican Customs has been inspecting imports on nearly all of the Sanchez Yard's tracks without the need to separate the existing trains. It has also added a second inspection shift. For more information on the cross-border improvements, visit www.aar.org.