In June, Barry Fromm and other private investors affiliated with Value Recovery Group Inc. (VRG) of Columbus, Ohio, acquired the intellectual property along with existing inventory and equipment to produce the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger railcars originally developed and manufactured by Colorado Railcar Company.
The new company, US Railcar LLC, is the only American-owned company that produces passenger rail cars manufactured in the U.S. Mr. Michael P. Pracht serves as its president and CEO.
US Railcar offers both single- and bi-level DMUs carrying 92 and 188 passengers respectively. The US Railcar DMU is suited for new and existing commuter rail and intercity service where it will help stretch operating dollars by lowering operating cost, consuming less fuel, running quieter through residential neighborhoods, emitting less pollutants and providing greater train flexibility in lower density and off-peak service.
The US Railcar DMU is also the only DMU that is fully Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) compliant (FRA 49 CFR 238) and is the only self-propelled passenger railcar allowed to operate anywhere on the national rail system in mixed traffic with freight trains.
In 2003, Florida Tri-Rail received a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build and test a prototype of this DMU. Today, TriRail has five bi-level DMUs (including two trailer cars) in daily revenue service.
In 2008, four DMUs (including one trailer car) were delivered to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, for use on the Westside Express Service commuter rail line between Beaverton and Wilsonville, Ore. In addition, several months ago, one bi-level DMU was delivered to the Alaska Railroad to be used for a new passenger rail service serving the Chugach National Forest.
The US Railcar DMU, comprised of both power cars and trailer cars, enables new-start commuter and intercity passenger agencies to commence immediate revenue service on existing freight rail track.