The Future of Rail Travel is Tied to the Future of Technology

train wheels on a track

They say there’s romance in train travel. And I’ve certainly caught some beautiful sights through the eyes of my train-traveling coworker, Susie Gidseg and her personal Long Way Home blog.

But, many people ride trains simply to get from home to work and back. Their travel often looks more like this:


Ok, so maybe that last one was not your typical commuter, but their owner very well could be one of the 475,000 riders our customer Rio Grande Pacific Corporation (RGPC) supports every year. The privately-owned holding company for regional freight railroads & support services is also responsible for an average of 120,000 carloads of freight each year.

And whether it’s commuters or freight, downtime is not really an option for them. Modern technology can make all the difference, but this 150-year-old industry has been traditionally slow to change.

“It has been a bane of existence of railroads to be able to get the information that they need to make rapid decisions,” says Robert Bach, president and COO, RGPC. “If you’re going to adapt for the future, you have to have the data at your fingertips.”

You can hear more from him and other members of the RGPC team in this video where they explain how Dell EMC is helping them take on digital transformation.

In an industry where being on time isn’t actually that easy to define, success is measured in seconds. And while measuring those seconds on their own lines, RGPC’s Technology Group also is developing products for others. Dell EMC’s Unity All-Flash has put them in a position to continue such growth.

Click to watch

“By choosing the [Dell EMC] Unity platform we solved several needs. One is performance. The second is scalability,” said Jason Brown, chief information officer, RGPC, in this second video. “The platform has allowed our mission-critical safety signal systems to run on a robust redundant system.”

That’s vital when their team is providing crucial operations and maintenance offerings, including third-party dispatching, signaling and communications, technology solutions and maintenance-of-way (MOW) services, to commuter transit agencies and short line railroads.

commuter train on bridge at sunset

Deploying technology has allowed them to move from being a cost center to being a revenue center, and create their railway internet of things pulling together systems that were once separate into one dashboard for all of their customers to see.

We’re proud that all those systems are being developed on Dell EMC Unity All-Flash, enabling RGPC to speed deployment, streamline management and seamlessly tier storage to the cloud. Visit DellEMC.com/Unity to learn more about what it can do for your organization.

Laura Pevehouse

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.