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For diesel locomotives, we have parts from A to Z. No order or client is too small for us, says Mike Zerafa, Vice President, Business Process Optimization at PowerRail

For diesel locomotives, we have parts from A to Z. No order or client is too small for us, says Mike Zerafa, Vice President, Business Process Optimization at PowerRail
photo: PowerRail/For diesel locomotives, we have parts from A to Z. No order or client is too small for us, says Mike Zerafa, Vice President, Business Process Optimization at PowerRail
17 / 10 / 2022

RAILTARGET presents you with an exclusive interview with Mike Zerafa, Vice President, Business Process Optimization at PowerRail. A company with nearly two decades of history, PowerRail is a certified AAR M-1003 Manufacturer, Remanufacturer, and Distributor of aftermarket locomotive parts and components, offering a wide range of products. The company is based in North America, but that doesn't stop it from being active overseas. In the framework of the international trade fair Innotrans, which brought top managers of the railway sector to Berlin, we learned about PowerRail's core business in Central and Eastern Europe, its goals for new developments and technologies, and the products that were presented at InnoTrans 2022.

How do you like this event, and what is the main reason you are here?

I really like InnoTrans and have been coming for several years. I'm glad it's back after four years. It's great to see all the different people from the industry across various countries. Both customers and suppliers come together and see new technology, new products, and new ideas.

What is the main product you want to present here?

PowerRail is a supplier of diesel locomotive components. We have a very wide range of parts that we offer. We like to say our parts coverage is, A to Z, or roof to rail. We have everyday maintenance items such as lightbulbs and gaskets to much larger, critical parts such as traction motors and engine parts. PowerRail offers more products for locomotives than any other aftermarket company in the world. 

Who are your main clients?

Our customers are global, and we cover all market segments., Industrial manufacturers to transit and freight railroads, private and publicly managed. Our customers might have a locomotive or two, and others that may have five or six thousand locomotives. No customer is too small for PowerRail, and no order is too small either. We sell and ship small parts or single line orders or bulk orders that kitted, or combined and consolidated, as a one-stop shop covering everything they need for their locomotive.

Mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, can you name your clients?

It's a tough question now you are testing my geography [laughs]. We deal with DB Schenker, CFL Cargo, Arlington Fleet Group and SIA Nordbaltic to mention a few. We also source products in Europe, and our strategy is to be able to do more of that in the future because we are interested in bringing some manufacturers and sources closer to our customers.

The world, globally, is about new development and technologies. What's your target?

Our goal is to continue to grow the PowerRail business and footprint globally. Over the last five years our global presence has grown. We sell in over 50 countries, and we continue to expand that footprint, servicing both old locomotives and also newer ones that are beginning to come off warranty or are due for rebuild and major component overhaul. We want to continue to grow by supporting local rebuilders or manufacturers with supply of components and kits to help them in their projects and get the locomotives back into revenue service. In this way, the work can be done locally.

We can see some locomotive and components. Could you explain to us what these are? Is it what you've presented here?

Yes, of course. As I have mentioned earlier, PowerRail provides components for the complete locomotive and many different models., From the undercarriage, or the bogey we support all of the parts and components from the pins and bushings, brake rigging, springs, axles, bearing housings and traction motors. We can supply a kit of components to do your maintenance or overhaul. It allows our customers to focus on the work while we support them with parts and in most cases, the logistics. For maintenance and unscheduled repairs, we have rebuilt components that can be exchanged with their failed part, or we can provide a maintenance kit with everything they need to perform their periodic maintenance. Routine inspection items like filers, gaskets, led bulbs and brushes, fuses that sort of thing. Like I said, PowerRail offers more products for locomotives than any other aftermarket company in the world. 

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