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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from RMI, Alstom, Loram and International Fuel Technology

An acquisition, new business and fuel-saving technological advances highlight the latest developments in the rail supply world:

• RMI has acquired intermodal terminal transportation control system provider Optimization Alternatives (OA). Terms weren't disclosed. OA, which will operate as a wholly owned RMI subsidiary, offers the OASIS decision support system that's used at more than 120 North American intermodal terminals. OA will continue to be based in Austin, Texas, retain its sales, software development and support operations, and be led by Director of Software Development Scott Holland. RMI provides Web-based transportation and logistics solutions to the transportation industry, including Class Is, regionals, short lines, terminal switching railroads, rail-car leasing companies and rail shippers.

• Alstom Transport won a $236 million contract to supply 18 X'Trapolis trains to the state of Victoria, Australia, for the city of Melbourne's metropolitan passenger-rail network. Alstom will deliver the six-car trainsets by late 2009. The trains will feature three doors per car to facilitate passenger flows during rush hours, as well as air conditioning, passenger information systems and security cameras. Alstom previously supplied Melbourne with 36 Citadis trams, which have been in service since 2001.

• Loram Maintenance of Way Inc. has contracted IFS to replace its 19-year-old material requirements planning (MRP) system. A global enterprise applications firm, IFS will reduce the number of legacy systems used by Loram and reduce costs associated with maintaining system connections. IFS will install IFS Applications, which features a maintenance, repair, and overhaul solution for fleets.

• International Fuel Technology Inc. (IFT) announced recent independent laboratory tests and field trials with a rail engine showed its DiesoLIFT™ 10 used with a B-20 biodiesel fuel blend increased combustion performance, restored lost power and boosted fuel economy. Biodiesel typically has a lower energy content compared with diesel fuel, IFT said. However, the tests showed DiesoLIFT 10 increased power by more than 3.5 percent and reduced boost pressure by 4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/19/2008