Union Pacific Railroad Joins Forces with RailPulse Coalition to Digitally Transform North America’s Freight Rail Industry
RailPulse Is Leading the Effort to Broaden Use of Telematics Technology in Rail
Union Pacific Railroad has joined the RailPulse coalition and its effort to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies in North America’s freight rail industry.
Union Pacific is RailPulse’s seventh member. The other six include GATX Corporation, Genesee & Wyoming, Norfolk Southern, TrinityRail, Watco, and The Greenbrier Companies.
RailPulse was formed in 2020 as a coalition of forward-thinking railcar owners working together to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility in the rail industry by supporting the development and use of GPS and other telematics technologies. Its goal is to provide real-time information and sustained visibility of a railcar’s status, location and condition to shippers, railcar owners and railroads.
“The use of technology to increase shipment visibility is critical for ensuring we meet the needs and expectations of our customers who rely upon us for safe and reliable service, said Kenny Rocker, Executive Vice President – Marketing and Sales at Union Pacific. “RailPulse’s mission to establish new standards and support GPS and telematics use enhances customer experiences. Ultimately, an improved shipper experience can attract more shipments to the North American rail network.”
“The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome Union Pacific to RailPulse,” said Mike McClellan, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. “Interest in RailPulse and the coalition’s mission continues to grow. Adding Union Pacific to our ownership ranks demonstrates the strategic appeal of the transformative technology that RailPulse is pursuing for the betterment of all participants in the rail ecosystem: shippers, builders, railcar owners and the railroads.”
RailPulse is on track to meet its initial milestone for platform introduction in early 2023. Member companies are currently facilitating trials with remote monitoring equipment from select vendors on their railcars. As the coalition receives and analyzes data from these trials, members plan to share conclusions later this year in preparation of the planned platform launch.
Responses from RailPulse’s Founding Members:
“2022 is shaping up to be a big year for RailPulse,” according to Robert Zmudka, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at GATX Corporation. “We continue to make progress on building the foundation of the RailPulse platform and Union Pacific’s decision to work with the coalition is a testament to the collaborative approach RailPulse has chosen. Additional exciting announcements are in the works. We’re eager to share these developments.”
“Adding another technology-minded railroad, like the Union Pacific, is an important step forward for RailPulse,” according to Gregg Mitchell, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at TrinityRail. “We began talking with the Union Pacific’s commercial leadership team several months ago. During those discussions, we identified a shared interest in improving the shippers’ experience. With the improved safety, efficiency, and visibility RailPulse seeks to achieve, railroad customers will have compelling reasons to shift more of their supply chains to rail.”
“Genesee & Wyoming has a strong short line partnership with Union Pacific and we look forward to them as a valuable member of the RailPulse coalition,” said Michael Miller, President of Genesee & Wyoming North America. “Among our customers, we are seeing growing demands for more transparency in freight rail transportation. This is a worthy undertaking not only for each of the member companies, but the industry as a whole.”
“Watco is excited to welcome the Union Pacific to RailPulse,” said Stefan Loeb, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer for Watco Companies, L.L.C. “Union Pacific’s decision to work with RailPulse is just another example of the growing excitement around a collaborative approach to remote monitoring and telematics in North American freight rail. It takes Class 1s working with shortlines, equipment owners and shippers to bring about transformational change.”
RailPulse, formed in 2020 by a diverse group of industry leading stakeholders, includes Norfolk Southern Corporation, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Watco Companies LLC, The Greenbrier Companies and TrinityRail. The group aims to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of GPS and other telematics technology across the North American railcar network to significantly increase visibility, efficiency, and safety.