Wednesday, August 12, 2009

RailAmerica announces contract-switching business

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Jacksonville, Fla.-based RailAmerica says it has launched a new contract-switching business, RailAmerica Contract Switching Services (RACS), to serve industrial customers.

With contract switching, businesses that have a continuous need for railcar handling engage a third-party supplier to move railcars into, out of, and within a manufacturing or distribution facility, the company says. In addition to railcar switching, RACS will offer track maintenance, railcar andlocomotive repairs, and railcar cleaning. 

“RailAmerica offers four key benefits to customers in need of a contract-switching provider–extensive experience in railway operations, a strong commitment to safety, rigorous employee training programs, and a presence throughout the country,” said Jeff Geary, vice president of the new rail-switching subsidiary.

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RACS says it can supply on-site staff and equipment quickly and efficiently, decreasing the cost of transporting locomotives, equipment, and personnel. It also will offer easy access to mechanical facilities, which furnish equipment and make necessary repairs.

For customers already using a third-party provider, RACS says it will work to ensure a smooth transition to the RailAmerica approach.

RACS says its service and equipment offerings include: seven-day-a-week coverage; flexible range of hours; on-site managers who work closely with customers; railcar inspections to reduce loading dock car rejections; railcar and locomotive repair; track maintenance and inspection; plant personnel assistance; computerized yard inventory reports; locomotive models selected to meet customer needs; car-cleaning equipment; and maintenance-of-way equipment.

RailAmerica is owned by funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, a global alternative asset manager.