Company History

Rail Industry Specialist, Inc. (“RIS”) was founded in 1994 after a complex series of freight transportation transactions were successfully completed by Michael J. McGee, Rail Industry Specialist.

The RIS projects including the facilitation of a significant truck trailer manufacturing liaison between Thrall Car and Wabash National Corporation to reengineer RoadRailer trailers in the US and expand RoadRailer thru technology license for International applications. In addition, RIS completed the US brokerage of over 2,000 railcars, parts sales and selective “value added” railcar refurbishment deals.

The foundation of these transactions provided RIS with a unique insight in both the US and International markets and began the search for “undervalued” capital equipment where “value added” locomotive, wagon and railcar configurations could create growth in new markets with a goal of creating “synergy” between the suppliers, customers….. and ultimately provide better products to end users.

A Winning Partnership

Rail Industry Specialist, Inc. made a significant investment during 1995 thru the joint acquisition of eighty(80), 70 ton, PS-2 covered hoppers cars in working partnership with Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company (“CFCL”).

This group of eighty(80) PS-2 covered hopper cars “hulks” were converted into 70 ton, “open top” ballast cars with manual MK Phase IV Ballast Doors.

A well timed purchase proved to be an important catalyst to expand the reach of both RIS and CFCL and cultivate the US maintenance of way market and eventually expand our reach to International customers including Canada, Mexico and Panama.

RIS Down Under

A natural progression to Australia occurred in early 1996 with the sale of $5,000.00 of draft gears to Morrision Knudsen in Australia. RIS had established solid contacts and developed contacts in Australia during Thrall Car’s licensing of RoadRailer to Australia National. Australia had mandated to privatize their government railways and allow the Australia customers to interface with the railroads similar to the freedoms spawned from the Staggers Act.

RIS and CFCL authored a comprehensive submission for Westrail’s tender and received the award to fully recondition, automate and export eight(8) of the PS-2 open top ballast wagons upgraded/ equipped with Difco ballast doors and Cattron remote control.

The 1997 export of these eight(8) wagons to Westrail and subsequent acquisition of thirteen(13) EL Class Locomotives from the remnants of the sale of Australia National facilitated by RIS. This export and first purchase became the “building blocks” for CFCL Australia Pty. Ltd. (“CFCLA”). CFCLA has rail related assets now exceeding 200M and enjoys the undisputed reputation in Australia as the industry leader in the supply of leased locomotives and wagons.

Rail Related Projects Worldwide

RIS owns in partnership and has long term vested interest in over 1000 locomotive, wagons and railcars. RIS facilitates all aspects of the rate and contract negotiation for inland and ocean transport task which supports CFCLA’s US purchases of reconditioned EMD 645 engines, AR-10 alternators, barber and ride control bogie castings, component parts and technology upgrades.

“Rail Related Projects Worldwide” is more than a catch phrase but the proud reflection of 25 years of cultivating and expanding relationships, listening and learning, strategic planning, sacrifice and unwavering dedication to the rail industry.

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