Posner Pushing Pop Up Rail Passenger Service

Rail entrepreneur Henry Posner is seeking to provide battery-powered multiple unit cars that could provide rail passenger service without the need for extensive capital investment.

Posner has called the concept Pop Up Metro and said its purpose is to lease passenger equipment to operators looking to provide service to smaller communities.

One likely user of the service would be a transit agency seeking to provide service to less-populated areas for less cost.

He said the Pop Up Metro business model includes “the train, the platform, the temporal separation operating rules, and various other elements of support that will make it easier to get people from maybe to yes in terms of there being a demonstration operation.”

says Posner.

Posner said the equipment would ideal to provide service on a lightly-used branch line or short line railroad where passenger trains could run during the day while freight service is provided at night.

The co-founder of Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corporation, which owns Iowa Interstate Railroad along with operations in England, France, Germany, Belgium, and Peru, Posner recently demonstrated the equipment at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Pennsylvania using two remanufactured Vivarail 230 multiple unit power cars Great Britain.

One of RDC’s companies, RDC Deutschland, earlier this year signed contracts to operate five routes in north Germany that will use new Stadler battery-electric trainsets that are similar to those used in the Pennsylvania demonstration.

The equipment to be used in the Pop Up Metro plan can be transported by truck, making it easy to transfer from one route to another.

Posner said a Maine developer is interested in the concept as are the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit.

 “We think this fulfills an important role in the transit sector,” Posner said.

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