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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from RMI, GATX, TranSystems, Parsons, MHF and FirstGroup

Appointments and new business rule the latest developments among the rail supply/service provider set:

• Rail information services provider RMI has named Dan Vertachnik executive vice president-chief revenue officer and promoted Kirk Knauff to VP of sales. Vertachnik previously held various leadership positions with Red Prairie, i2 Technologies, NFI/National Freight Inc. and The Dart Group. Knauff has held various business development positions with RMI since 2002.

• GATX Corp. has appointed Katie Lawler senior vice president of human resources. She most recently served Newsday as SVP of operations. Lawler previously held various human resources, labor relations and organizational development posts at the Tribune Co.

• TranSystems has named Peter Espy vice president. He will head the engineering firm's passenger-rail and transit projects on the West Coast. Espy previously was general manager of Peru Rail, a 600-mile passenger and freight railway, and a core member of the engineering and procurement group for Amtrak's Acela high speed-rail program.

• In conjunction with Kiewit Southwest Co. and Herzog Contracting Corp., Parsons has been selected by the Utah Transit Authority to build the "Mid-Jordan" light-rail line in Salt lake City. Parsons will be responsible for designing the 11-mile extension, which will run from the Fashion Place West Station on the North/South Line in Murray, west through Midvale and West Jordan along Union Pacific Railroad's Bingham Branch line, then south to the new Kennecott Daybreak development in South Jordan.

• MHF Logistical Solutions Inc. has opened a Jacksonville, Fla., office for parent company MHF Holdings. The office will serve as a regional branch office for the company's Magellan Transport Logistics unit, and offer intermodal, truckload, air, warehousing and supply-chain management services. MHF Logistical Solutions provides transportation services — including rail — for radioactive, hazardous and non-hazardous waste and materials.

• Quintiq won a contract to provide a resource optimization system to transportation provider FirstGroup. Following a successful pilot with First ScotRail, Quintiq will implement the system at all four of FirstGroup's passenger-rail franchises: First ScotRail, First TransPennine Express, First Capital Connect and First Great Western. The system will enable FirstGroup to improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service by highlighting optimal requirements for train units, drivers and crews, the company said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/2/2008