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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Digital Concepts, Verint Systems, Lombard Investments, CargoWise and SEKO


Here's a few more recent developments from rail industry suppliers and service providers:

• By spring, Digital Concepts Inc. expects to deploy an integrated weather warning feature in the DigiCon dispatching/traffic management systems used by rail customers, such as Canadian National Railway Co., Florida East Coast Railway, Montana Rail Link, Amtrak, Metrolink, Caltrain, Sprinter, the Belt Railway of Chicago and Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis. Part of a "big picture" application, the feature includes radar displays and electronic views of a railroad to help operating personnel recognize and monitor weather patterns and potentially hazardous conditions. DigiCon systems now will provide automated warnings to alert dispatchers and managers about developing storms, flash floods or tornados.

• China's Ministry of Railways has contracted Verint Systems Inc. to provide its Nextiva™ Internet Protocol video system to enhance security on portions of a 74-mile high-speed passenger-rail line to be constructed by August. The first high-speed rail system to be built in China's mainland China, the line will accommodate train speeds exceeding 186 mph and connect the cities of Beijing and Tianjin. The line is scheduled to be built in time for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

• Lombard Investments Inc. announced late year's proposed sale of the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. (DM&E) to Canadian Pacific Railway earned Buyouts magazine's "Large Market Deal of the Year" award. In 1986, Lombard led an investor consortium that provided equity for the $34 million acquisition of the DM&E's initial assets. In September, CPR reached an agreement to purchase the regional for $1.48 billion in cash at closing and future contingent payments up to $1.06 billion. The Surface Transportation Board is analyzing the sale as a "major" transaction and expects to render a decision by late September or October.

• CargoWise™ has joined the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) as an associate member. A provider of integrated supply-chain logistics management systems to freight forwarders, customs brokers, warehouses, container freight stations and transportation carriers, CargoWise is expanding in the Canadian marketplace, the company said.

• Logistics provider SEKO has expanded its Dallas/Fort Worth facility to accommodate increasing demand. Located near Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the facility provides transportation and logistics services, including domestic and international shipping, customs brokerage, warehouse management and surface transportation. The facility now features 35 percent more office area and 40 percent more dock space.