Greenbrier Managing RailAmerica Freight Cars

Railcar manufacturer and car fleet manager Greenbrier said it is processing car hire and repair payments for RailAmerica, the owner of 39 regional and short line railroads.

The move is among many by rail equipment builders to increase their revenue from other areas, as a huge overhang of idled railcars across North America makes it unlikely that orders will rise any time soon for new freight car manufacturing.

Greenbrier Management Services said it began late last year handling the accounting work for car hire payables on rail equipment that is interchanged onto RailAmerica's network, and for car hire receivables generated by RailAmerica's own railcar fleet.

It is already doing that work in three of the short line firm's five regions, Greenbrier said, and should finish the implementation early this year. In all, its GMS unit provides management services for more than 223,000 cars and 70 railroads, in addition to 9,000 cars that Greenbrier owns.

It also repairs and refurbishes freight cars, and sells wheels and railcar parts.

- John D. Boyd, The Journal of Commerce.