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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Herzog, Railpower, Cricket Communications, RailComm and e-VERIFILE.COM


• Herzog Contracting Corp. has appointed Scott Commo assistant vice president of marketing for the Railroad Services Division, which provides specialized equipment for the rail industry. Commo has 11 years of experience in the railroad supply business. Herzog also named Tim Frances manager of marketing for the Railroad Services Division. He has more than 10 years of rail industry experience.

• Railpower Technologies Corp. announced plans to reduce its workforce another 50 percent, from 78 to 39 employees. Despite efforts to “secure the continued viability of its operations,” the company remains under the protection of Canada’s Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the locomotive builder’s ability to “continue as a going concern is uncertain,” Railpower said. The company might have no other alternatives than to initiate liquidation procedures and has decided to cease operations, Railpower officials added. The remaining employees will maintain minimum day-to-day operations and support the development of available alternatives.

• Cricket Communications Inc. has obtained a 10-year agreement from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to lease the agency’s wireless communications infrastructure in the Red and Blue line subways. CTA will receive $22,250 per month from Cricket, which recently installed amplifiers, transmitters, receivers and other base equipment to provide wireless service. CTA enables riders to use wireless devices — such as cell phones and Internet modems — throughout its 11.4-mile subway system. Cricket joins Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular as the agency’s current wireless service providers for the subway.

• Fort Worth & Western Railroad has contracted RailComm Inc. to provide its Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) Track Warrant Control system to dispatch dark territory. The railroad will access the train-control system through a Web-enabled Software-as-a-Service delivery model. The service enables the railroad to remotely dispatch trains from any Internet-connected computer. DOC control applications are housed on servers at RailComm’s managed data center in Rochester, N.Y.

• e-VERIFILE.COM Inc. has launched e-RAILSAFE ShortLine, a new service for regionals and short lines that’s based on the company’s e-RAILSAFE Class I service introduced in 2006. e-RAILSAFE ShortLine is designed to facilitate personnel screening, compliance awareness and workplace credentialing for regionals’ and short lines’ employees and contractors. Users can subscribe to the Web-based service and create their own workplace compliance programs, e-VERIFILE.COM said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/14/2009