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Railinc Successfully Launches Umler System for Freight Rail Industry

October 2, 2009
Railinc successfully launched the new Umler system, replacing the 40-year-old legacy system with modern web-based technology. The Umler system is a mission-critical application for the freight rail industry, containing vital information about rail equipment used when servicing freight customers, making trip plans, testing airbrakes, or making equipment repairs.

Using the Umler system, rail carriers, equipment owners, and shippers now have real-time access to highly detailed equipment information through an easily accessible and easy-to-use web application. The result is better communication and collaboration among rail partners for better asset management and improved rail safety.

“Development and implementation of the new system was an enormous industry effort,” said Alan McDonald, director of the Umler/EMIS project. “Hundreds of professionals throughout the freight rail industry came together to make the new Umler system a success.”

The new Umler system was turned on August 31, 2009. Cutover for Umler’s largest users began on September 12, including several large equipment owners, leasing companies, and Class I railroads. Cutovers will continue until the end of December. Post-production support will also continue over the next several months, including release of Umler/EMIS 3.3, scheduled for October 18. Railinc will also host "Ask the Experts" Umler webinars each month to help Umler users acclimate to the new system.

“Railinc bent over backward to meet the needs of multiple industry partners to bring this complex system to fruition,” said Randy Voith, technical director for CSX Technology. “Together they worked for many years to develop a system that will better allow us to serve the needs of the rail industry in the new millennium.”

Implementation of the new Umler system represents seven years of coordinated, industry-wide development. Representatives from every Class I railroad and many of the largest rail equipment owners participated in developing the system. More than 800,000 lines of code were written containing more than 20,000 business rules. Overall more than two million equipment records were transformed.

“The edits and validations in the new system are great,” said Gary Boklewski, database engineering manager for General American Tank Corp. (GATX). “They are leading the industry to a whole new level of data quality and accuracy.”

The Umler system tracks data on more than two million pieces of rail equipment, including 1.4 million rail cars and 25,000 locomotives. For up-to-date information about the Umler project or the new Umler system, visit www.railinc.com/umler.