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Australian company STI-GLOBAL Ltd. recently announced it purchased a controlling interest in Santa Fe Southern Railway (SFSR), an excursion railroad and short line based in Santa Fe, N.M.
STI, which develops rail safety and risk mitigation technology, is configuring a positive train control (PTC) solution that would meet U.S. regulatory requirements and be licensed through SFSR. The PTC system would cost less than half as much as the PTC systems that Class Is are proposing to use, STI-GLOBAL officials said in a prepared statement. Such systems — which would use wayside and onboard devices, and satellite radio communications — are costly and would be “crippling” to short lines and small commuter railroads, the officials said.
“The addition of SFSR to our portfolio gives us a U.S. railroad to test and market systems which will be of significant value to many railroads burdened by the cost of PTC,” said STI Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Don Searle. “Their operating expertise, location and equipment join with our research and product development experience to give us a springboard into the American market.”
Added SFSR Chairman Karl Ziebarth: “This development not only breathes new life into our little railroad, but has positive implications for the entire U.S. rail industry.”