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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from GATX, Trinity, Herzog, Chicago Freight Car, Smart Software, RailComm and Gannett Fleming


• GATX Corp. has agreed to purchase 12,500 new rail cars from Trinity Rail Group L.L.C. during the next five years. The order is for both tank and freight cars. "Coupled with our extensive activity in acquiring rail cars in the secondary market and consistent placement of spot orders for newly built rail cars, this order enhances our ability to serve our customers and continue growing over our North American fleet," said Brian Kenney, president and chief executive officer of GATX, in a prepared statement.

• Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co. has promoted Paul Deasy to president. Most recently director of sales and business development, he will oversee all day-to-day activities and work with the executive team on strategy. Deasy joined Chicago Freight in 2006 after a stint with Cytec Industries, where he was director of marketing and sales. He also previously served as director of marketing and regional manager at GATX Corp.'s rail-car leasing business, and held sales and marketing management roles at FMC Corp.

• Herzog Contracting Corp. has acquired substantially all assets of HAX Technology L.L.C. Greg Hackbarth has been retained as president of the new company, Herzog Technologies Inc. The firm aims to provide comprehensive signal and communication services to the rail industry, including material integration, engineering, construction, maintenance, and PTC data acquisition and management.

• MTA Metro-North Railroad (MNR) has purchased Smart Software Inc.’s SmartForecasts® to reduce inventory stocking levels for its 40,000 active service and spare parts, valued at almost $100 million, and improve parts availability for daily operations, according to Smart. The nation’s second-largest commuter railroad, MNR operates 1,193 locomotives and rail cars over 765 miles of track. The railroad’s inventory demand is difficult to forecast, which can lead to purchases of excess stock, according to Smart.

• The Vermont Rail System has obtained RailComm's track warrant control system. The RailComm Doman Operations Controller (DOC®) train control system can be accessed through web-enabled software. Through this system, railroads can be remotely dispatched and management can log in from outside the office, according to RailComm.

• Gannett Fleming has appointed Gary Ficek project manager. His responsibilities will include supporting project teams with management and oversight of transit projects. Ficek is experienced in managing heavy civil and building construction projects in the United States and overseas, according to Gannett Fleming. He also will provide expertise in security, quality assurance and project controls.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2011