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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

KCS to upload software, manage real-time data in three departments

By January, Kansas City Southern will implement three software products to process rail-car and locomotive maintenance, and accounting data more quickly and accurately.

In November, the railroad will launch Wabtec Corp.’s car maintenance and repair billing software. Carmen will use handheld devices in a shop or the field to record and submit car inspection and repair orders in real time, and access a car repair or work order history.

“Using this new software tool will help reduce costs in the areas of carried inventory, car hire and switching,” said KCS officials in a prepared statement.

Also in November, the Class I will implement Spear 3i locomotive maintenance and materials management software. Workers will use a handheld device to access daily work assignments, view a locomotive’s maintenance history and determine parts availability.

“The [software] will provide the data and tools necessary to improve locomotive availability and utilization through predictive failure analysis and proactive maintenance,” KCS officials said.

Finally, on Jan. 2, 2006, the railroad will launch SAP AG to improve cost center reporting. The software will enable KCS to process accounting data in real time, and automatically link purchasing, payables and inventory balances.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/10/2005