Posts Tagged ‘Railroad Development Corp’

Posner Pushing Pop Up Rail Passenger Service

October 4, 2021

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.

Pittsburgh-based Firm Wins Contract to Operate Battery-Powered German Passenger Trains

February 21, 2021

A Pittsburgh company has landed a contract to operate battery-powered passenger trains in Germany.

Railroad Development Corporation, which is headed by Henry Posner III, will operate the multiple-unit regional trains that will operate on five routes in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The equipment will be operated by RDC subsidiary RDC Deutschland, whose “RDC Autozug Sylt” business unit is already based in the north of Germany.

That business carries cars and freight to the rail-connected island of Sylt, plus long-distance overnight services from Sylt and Hamburg to Salzburg, Austria.

RDC expects to begin service in December 2023. The battery-powered trains will replace existing diesel-powered multiple units.

The contract is one of three offered by German officials to operate a fleet of 55 new two-car battery EMUs being built by Stadler, which will also maintain the fleet.

The government is paying for the $725 million contract agreed in 2019 and will lease the trains to the selected contractor-operators.

Posner told Trains magazine that RDC’s intercity passenger operations in Europe have been growing in recent years.

“The idea of bidding for this tender made sense because it is in our core territory of Schleswig-Holstein, and was another opportunity to demonstrate to the market the breadth of capabilities that we have built in our German organization,” Posner said.

The battery-electric MU concept is new and the Stadler fleet will be one of the first to provide widespread service in Europe.

Batteries enable trains to operate away from overhead power lines. Some routes RDC will operate lack electrification except at some of the main stations.

Trains will therefore need to make round trips of around 90 miles on battery power before being recharged.

RDC, which is the majority owner of U.S. regional railroad Iowa Interstate, also has operations in Peru, France, England, and Belgium.

Posner Testing Rail Transit Concept

March 8, 2018

A Pittsburgh-based railroad investor wants to bring surplus English subway cars to the United States for possible use as low-cost public transit on low-density freight routes.

Henry Posner III, who heads Railroad Development Corporation, acquired 150 former London Underground D78-series surface cars and plans to convert them to diesel or battery power.

Posner told Trains magazine that he plans to start a demonstrate project on the East Coast in what he called a “pop-up” rail transit option.

He envisions it serving smaller urban areas, cities, or areas of cities cannot afford or have not considered rail transit.

To make such service work it would need to operate at times of day when freight trains were not using the rails.

Some cities have expressed interest in the concept, but none have committed to it yet, Posner said.

Posner believes his concept will “change that perception of cost” of rail transit because trains can be tried out on a route for far less than the cost of a consultant’s study of proposed rail service.

Although his concept may not be a long-term solution in every trial, he said the service can help rail transit service get started. If the market is there, the route might grow into more conventional rail transit service.

Posner to Speak at Erie Banquet in April

March 24, 2017

Railroad executive Henry Posner III will speak at the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society banquet on April 8 in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Posner is the chairman of Railroad Development Corporation, which is based in Pittsburgh and serves as the parent company of the Iowa Interstate Railroad as well as a portfolio of international railway operations.

The banquet will be held at St. James Place, 2622 Buffalo Road, and begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. There will be a buffet-style dinner.

For ticket information, visit

RDC Increases stake in Eurorail

January 16, 2015

Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corp. has increased its Eurorail holdings to 25 percent.

A rail-based logistics company headquartered in Belgium, Eurorail teamed up with RDC in 2012 in a 50-50 investment in freight rail feeder operator RégioRail, which controls four feeder rail operations in France.

“Europe is a challenging and fragmented market but with numerous niches representing opportunity for rail freight,” said RDC Chairman Henry Posner III in a news release. “This investment represents an additional commitment to the European market based on our confidence in our partners.”

In addition to RégioRail, Railroad Development’s portfolio currently includes rail freight operations in Peru and Colombia, European intercity passenger operator Hamburg-Köln-Express and U.K. passenger rolling stock producer Vivarail. The company also owns U.S. regional railroad Iowa Interstate.