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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Powerbrace, GE, Georgetown Rail, OUTFRONT and RailRunner (Sept. 20)

Miner Enterprises Inc. subsidiary Powerbrace Corp. has promoted John Swezey to president. He's led Powerbrace as general manager since 2011. As part of that position, Swezey was responsible for the company's operations in Kenosha, Wis., as well as its manufacturing facility in Saltillo, Mexico. He began his career as an engineer with Chamberlain GARD and later held executive positions with rail-car leasing companies GATX and CIT Rail. Under Swezey's leadership, Powerbrace has expanded its customer base and added new capabilities at its rail products division gate and brake beam manufacturing facility, said Miner Enterprises President and General Manager Ric Biehl.

GE Transportation's GoLINC™ system now features the sixth generation of Intel Corp.'s Core™ i7 processor. The platform enhancement is designed to save time and lower costs by reducing the amount of data transferred over cellular connections, GE officials said in a press release. The improvement also will allow for better data management and video analytics on the locomotive and enable the creation and deployment of future technologies into GoLINC. The platform interfaces with both on- and off-board GE and third-party systems; today, it's the "brain of the train" on more than 6,000 locomotives, company officials said. GE announced its collaboration with Intel at InnoTrans in Berlin.

Georgetown Rail Equipment Co.'s Aurora Xi track inspection technology has been named a finalist for two R&D 100 Awards. The technology is one of 52 finalists in the R&D 100 Special Recognition category and one of 194 in the overall R&D 100 Awards category, company officials said in a press release. Aurora Xi is the only finalist from the rail industry. The R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence in research, design and innovation. An independent panel of about 50 judges from various industries select the finalists each year.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has granted OUTFRONT Media Inc. the right to advertise on the Boston-area transit agency's subways, buses and commuter-rail system. The partnership, which is subject to a definitive agreement, will include the deployment of ON Smart, OUTFRONT's digital advertising platform. The technology will present new opportunities for the MBTA to scale its advertising revenue and provide intelligent communication to riders, OUTFRONT officials said in a press release. The company sells advertising to more than 70 U.S. transit agencies.

RailRunner NA Inc. announced its South African unit has signed a 20-year agreement with Transnet Ltd. — the country's state-owned transport company — to put high-density bi-modal trailers into service on the Cape Corridor and other parts of the operator's rail network. The contract is valued at $400 million. The first use of RailRunner's technology will be on the Cape Town to Gauteng line, with a launch date in 2018. Transnet and RailRunner are forming a joint venture to implement the new technology and provide "a door-to-door transportation system spanning road and rail," RailRunner officials said in a press release. The company's trailer can carry standard shipping containers on rail lines or the highway.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/20/2016