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Rail Roundup: TrinityRail rolls out tech platform; CP, Teamsters reach deal

Industry news includes Bay Worx Rail acquisition and buyer for Rocky Mountain Rail Park

Trinity Industries tank cars. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

TrinityRail offers new tech platform, acquires tank car maintenance provider

Trinity Industries’ (NYSE: TRN) arm TrinityRail has announced two new service offerings: a technology platform aimed at helping North American rail shippers track railcar fleets and the acquisition of Bay Worx Rail, a company that uses advanced robotics to clean tank cars.

The technology platform, Trinsight, will provide real-time intelligence of the location, conditions and status of rail equipment, TrinityRail said. The service, which the company says will help make rail transportation more efficient and safe and will be available to customers later this year, will complement the RailPulse joint venture that Trinity is part of with other companies. 

The platform, which uses data analytics to cull data from Trinity’s fleet of 132,000 owned and managed railcars, includes an interface in which customers can access location and asset status. Interface features include GPS and track and trace capabilities, weather overlaying and geofencing. Customers will also be able to access car location message data and impact and movement detection.

“We have heard from our customers about their need to manage their rail supply chain more efficiently,” TrinityRail Chief Commercial Officer Gregg Mitchell said in a release.

He continued, “In combination with the RailPulse joint venture, Trinsight will significantly enhance the customer experience through IoT and telematics, providing real-time visibility and insight into their fleets and the freight they transport. … The digital platforms being developed and implemented through Trinsight and other products will continue to provide both innovative solutions and a differentiated experience for TrinityRail customers.”

Trinsight is currently available to TrinityRail’s customers. Additional customized features will be available later in 2021.

In addition to announcing its new technology platform for customers, TrinityRail Maintenance Services said it has acquired Bay Worx Rail. 

Described as a proprietary cleaning technology systems and cleaning facility in South Texas, Bay Worx Rail uses advanced robotics to make cleaning tank cars more efficient and safe. 

TrinityRail Maintenance Services hopes to scale the service and add it to more maintenance facilities in the coming years.

“The investment in Bay Worx cleaning technology enhances the safety and working environment for our people, our sustainability profile through the use of closed-loop water recycling systems and our available capacity to meet increasing demand for mechanical services for tank car compliance events,” said Neil West, TrinityRail executive vice president for production operations.

Trinity Industries will announce its fourth-quarter earnings results on Feb. 18.

Canadian Pacific and rail traffic controllers union reach agreement

Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) and Teamsters Rail Conference Rail Canada Traffic Controllers (TCRC-RCTC) have reached a tentative three-year labor agreement.

The union represents approximately 300 rail traffic controllers in Canada, according to CP.

“I want to congratulate the TCRC-RCTC and CP’s negotiating team on this successful outcome,” CP CEO Keith Creel said in a release. “This is positive news for these important members of our CP family, who are integral to our safe and efficient operation.”

Said TCRC-RCTC General Chair Jason Bailey, “We believe this tentative agreement is in the best interests of our members and look forward to its successful ratification.”

Rocky Mountain Rail Park gets a buyer

Industrial developer Rocky Mountain Industrials says it has secured a buyer for an 83-acre site that’s part of the 620-acre Rocky Mountain Rail Park.

The rail park is in Adams County in the Denver suburbs. According to a September 2020 FreightWaves article, the rail-served park has access to Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP). 

“This significant transaction to kick off activity at Rocky Mountain Rail Park is a very exciting moment for the project as well as the surrounding community and is exemplary of the continued path of growth for this area,” said Aaron Valdez, who represented Rocky Mountain Industrials in the sale. “The rail park provides flexible sale, lease and build-to-suit options for the Greater Denver area.”

The rail park is off of I-70 and adjacent to the Colorado Air and Space Port. It also has proximity to the Denver International Airport and downtown Denver.

Unions press Biden on National Mediation Board appointments

Nineteen unions representing rail and aviation workers asked U.S. President Joe Biden to support Deidre Hamilton’s appointment to the National Mediation Board (NMB) and reappoint sitting NMB member Linda Puchala.

In a Jan. 26 letter, the unions said the current NMB has appointees from former President Donald Trump’s administration and that those appointments remain effective until the Senate confirms new board members.

The NMB, which was created by Congress through the Railway Labor Act, facilitates labor-management relations in the aviation and rail industries, the letter said. 

These rail and aviation workers “are best served when the NMB is reliably staffed with public servants who understand the importance of collective bargaining and who, when disputes arise, will seek fair and timely resolutions,” the letter said. “Both Ms. Hamilton and Ms. Puchala have impeccable qualifications for positions on the board and have proven throughout their careers to be steadfast allies of workers.”  

According to the letter, Hamilion has represented workers before the federal courts and she has served as staff attorney to the airline division at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. She also held similar positions at other transportation unions. 

Puchala has been an NMB member since 2009, and she has worked as a mediator and has union leadership experience.

Among the  unions that signed the letter were the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; and Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.