Railinc Tracks Blog

Railinc tracks are everywhere although you don't always see them. The Railinc Tracks blog reveals them one at a time and shows you how we help to keep railroads, railcars and rail shipments moving across America. The blog is staffed by the Railinc Corporate Communication team and will give you news and insights about our company, our people and our products.

Railinc Interns Get Hands-On Experience

Railinc internships offer valuable, hands-on experience in areas ranging from IT to business operations to human resources. This summer, the company welcomed about a dozen high school and college students, including Jesse Morgan, a senior North Carolina State University computer science major who worked as a software engineering intern. Jesse was kind enough to share with us his thoughts on his Railinc internship experience:

What I Did
I worked on a product called the Car Repair Management System (CRMS), which keeps track of repairs between different repair companies. I helped test the product and web application. I spent most of my day writing code to automate the testing using a framework for the Java programming language Selenium, which makes it easier to automate. I ended up doing about 50 to 60 percent of the CRMS web application user interface testing. My typical day would start the night before. I would run tests through Jenkins, an automation server, before I left each night. When I’d arrive in the morning, I could see what passed and failed. I kept track of cases I was working on through a wiki page and added the new cases to the page so I would know what I needed to pass. I actually ended up getting them all passed by the end of summer.

Jesse Morgan, center, with his fellow interns at the Railinc summer event.

What I Learned
I learned a lot of practical skills. I already had some experience working with Java, but I was able to learn more and develop my skills. As I gained experience during my internship, I learned better software design techniques such as writing more general code that can be applied to multiple test cases.

What I Liked
I really liked the people. Everyone was always willing to help me if I needed it. My supervisors were knowledgeable and helpful, and they kept me on track. I never felt like I was on my own in figuring out a problem or attacking a project. I also built some great connections and relationships with people I worked with and with other interns. My internship offered me a taste of what a real-world job and working in an office setting would be like. I had never had that opportunity before, and it was just a really great experience.

Railinc hires interns throughout the year and posts internship openings on the Railinc Careers page. 

—Railinc Corporate Communications

Global Conference Panel Features Railinc Analyst

The North American railcar fleet grew by about 21,000 cars through July, adding about 5,500 grain or fertilizer covered hoppers, 4,500 tank cars and 3,500 plastic pellet covered hoppers. Those were among the takeaways from a recent Railcar Outlook and Overview panel featuring Railinc Senior Analyst Dr. David Humphrey and others at Cowen and Company’s 10th annual Global Transportation Conference.

The entire panel session is available below. Railway Age also published a recap of the discussion

Each year, Humphrey uses Umler data to create demographic profiles of the railcar and locomotive fleets and presents the information at the Rail Equipment Finance Conference in La Quinta, Calif. Companion reports on the railcar and locomotive fleets are available to download for free on the Railinc Research Reports page.

—Railinc Corporate Communications

Top Railinc Customer Questions (and Answers)

Railinc’s Customer Success Center handles about 40,000 inquiries each year, from requests for walkthroughs of any one of the company’s dozens of products to questions about locked accounts and lost passwords.

Here are five of the top questions Railinc’s CSC team gets from customers, with links to resources that have the answers.

Don’t see your question here? Our CSC team can help. Contact us at csc@railinc.com or 877-724-5462.

  1. How do I manage access rights for the Umler System?
    An Umler system user’s access is managed by an Umler administrator at their company. This administrator controls their colleagues’ ability to modify data within the system. The Umler Managing Access Rights Quick Guide covers how administrators can grant any or all data-modification rights to an Umler user or to another mark or company.
  2. How do I edit a Letter of Authorization (LOA)?
    Railinc uses LOAs to help protect its customers’ confidential data. These agreements ensure that appropriate data is sent only to authorized parties. Sometimes, you need to update information in an LOA to help with activities such as shipment or asset management. View our LOA Editing demo video for step-by-step instructions on editing an LOA.

  3. How do I nullify an alert closure in the Equipment Health Management System (EHMS)?
    When a repair or inspection is reported incorrectly, you can nullify the alert closure if your road reported the activity. There are restrictions on who can nullify an alert closure. Take a look at page 20 of the EHMS User Guide for complete instructions.
  4. How do I nullify an inspection in Umler?
    The Umler system gives users a way to report inspections. But sometimes mistakes happen, like reporting an air brake inspection in error. You can easily fix this by logging into the system and nullifying the inspection. Read our Umler Nullifying Inspections Quick Guide to learn how.
  5. How do I query historical lineage in Umler?
    The Umler system’s historical lineage function enables users to view all actions related to a specific equipment ID or equipment identification number, like the restenciling required by an ownership change. Some data are confidential and accessible only to equipment owners. Download the Umler Querying Historical Lineage Quick Guide to find out how to view historical lineage.

—Railinc Corporate Communications

Railinc Named Great Supply Chain Partner

Railinc Corp. has been honored again as one of the “100 Great Supply Chain Partners" for 2017 by SupplyChainBrain magazine. Each year, the magazine features an elite group of companies whose customers have nominated them for providing outstanding solutions and services that made a significant impact on their supply chain performance. This is the second consecutive year Railinc has been selected for this logistics industry award.

“Everyone at Railinc is honored by our customers’ recognition of the value we are delivering through products like RailSight,” said Allen West, CEO and president. “Freight rail is a critical component in the supply chain network, and we’re proud of the role we play in our customers’ success.”

Now in its 15th year, SupplyChainBrain solicits nominations from logistics industry companies to evaluate service providers that made a significant impact on their company’s efficiency, customer service and overall supply chain performance.

“This year’s field of nominees was abundant and very strong, hailing from all aspects of supply chain management,” said Brad Berger, publisher of the magazine. “Railinc should be proud to be named amongst the 100 Great!”

RailSight Delivers Rail Shipment Visibility and Rail Equipment Management Data

Railinc’s RailSight suite of applications delivers rail shipment visibility and equipment management data directly to the desktop or via TMS solution to support rail equipment owners, shippers and third-party logistics providers. Railinc’s data products and technology systems are deeply embedded in the North American freight rail network, providing safety and operational support. Railinc also manages widely-used industry databases, builds critical software applications and provides essential business intelligence services supporting the freight rail industry.

SupplyChainBrain, the world’s most comprehensive supply chain management information resource, is accessed year round through a wide range of ever evolving multi-media formats by hundreds of thousands of senior level industry executives. In addition to addressing the fundamental principles of supply-chain management, SupplyChainBrain identifies emerging trends, technologies and best practices, forward thinking ideas and cutting-edge solutions, and continues to write and report about these as they evolve and mature.

Railinc Corp. appeared in the 2017 July/August issue of SupplyChainBrain magazine as a member of this year’s 100 Great Supply Chain Partners.

—Railinc Corporate Communications

Top 3PLs Pick RailSight for Shipment Visibility

Railinc has announced that use of its RailSight intermodal and railcar data services, software applications, and analytics insights solutions has grown to include eight of North America’s 10 largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers, as well as all 10 of the largest private railcar fleet owners in North America.

Railinc created and developed RailSight as a suite of “Data as a Service” (DaaS) and “Software as a Service” (SaaS) cloud-based solutions that deliver value to the rail industry through its high-quality rail shipment, intermodal and rail management data feeds. RailSight is the freight rail industry’s most complete, single-source rail shipment visibility platform and enables users to adapt to changing business conditions and enhance business performance with the most comprehensive and timely shipment location messages and dynamic ETAs.

The latest rail and intermodal container shipment locations are reported to and aggregated by RailSight from more than 560 railroads across North America. RailSight reporting and exception management tools empower customers to more efficiently manage deliveries and expectations, production schedules, staffing, and inventory through a flexible, near real-time data delivery framework. RailSight supports a wide range of data formats and connectivity options, including legacy EDI, FTP, SFTP, MQ, Web Services and APIs.

“Because RailSight provides an unmatched level of detail and scope of rail visibility events across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, we have been steadily gaining adoption among a growing base of corporate consumers of this information,” said Chuck Hieronymi, Railinc’s director of business solutions. “We’re proud to be trusted with the critical task of supplying operating and supply chain data to the owners of major private railcar fleets, global 3PLs, shippers, and other participants in the North American rail system.

“We understand that in today’s competitive digital marketplace, we must continuously identify and deliver improved data quality and data delivery processes that can handle the increasing complexities of global supply network management,” Hieronymi said.

Railinc and the RailSight team are also leading the way in customer experience and satisfaction. Railinc registers a Net Promoter Score of 61, which places the company in the reputational ranks of such well-known brands as Southwest Airlines, Netflix and Google.

Railinc is also recognized by trade publications as an industry IT leader, showing up in rankings that include “100 Great Supply Chain Partners” and “Top 100 Logistics IT Providers.”

Railinc is a major employer of information technology professionals, ranking 11th in a Triangle Business Journal survey of software developers in North Carolina’s Triangle region—internationally known for its technology and scientific communities.

“RailSight’s historically high customer retention rates and our outstanding customer-satisfaction scores are all made possible by our dedicated Railinc team, our commitment to operational excellence and continued focus on our customers’ success,” Hieronymi said.

—Railinc Corporate Communications