Innovation from Inside the Industry

Having extensive experience working with locomotive builders, operators and rail customers, Railspire’s innovative team appreciates real world operational challenges: the safety imperative the nights and weekends the hot and cold the rain and snow the impacts of tonnage the long asset lifetimes

Our Approach

The Railspire team collaborates with customers to utilize technology and bridge the gap between traditional operations and emerging technologies.

Nimble

We provide operator-assisted and mission-based solutions for:

  • Small to large scale fleets
  • Locomotives new or old
  • Locations remote or urban
  • Road and yard operations

Scalable

Whether starting with simply one locomotive in one location or equipping your entire fleet, Railspire technologies scale and improve as customers’ requirements grow and change. We design with the mindset of adopting and adapting to technologies and use-cases that have yet to be imagined.

NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGIES

We recognize that some technologies are created in search of a problem, but at Railspire we apply technologies to tangible applications that address existing challenges. We enable you to operate how you want, not constrained by existing operating procedures and paradigms.

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Leadership Team

Working to improve rail’s competitive edge.

President

Greg Hrebek

An executive technologist with a 17 year career driving innovation and cultivating digital solutions within the rail industry.

From a curiosity for puzzles and computers in the fifth grade to overseeing the development and deployment of emerging technology for all four of the world’s major train control product offerings, Greg Hrebek is an engineer and innovator at heart.

For nearly two decades, Greg has successfully fostered and accelerated technology innovation within several heavy industries, overseeing R&D for numerous large-scale emerging technology programs.

Among his achievements, Greg scaled a predictive analytics startup to a successful exit with a Fortune 100 company and led the development and deployment of the world’s first autonomous freight train, the project where Greg met his Railspire co-founder, Brad Howard.

After envisioning a revolutionary approach to autonomous train control, Greg and Brad sought to build the technology to enable fully autonomous locomotive driving, which is what ultimately led them to form Railspire.

Greg studied at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Master of Science in Software Engineering and Master of Science in Systems Engineering.

In his free time, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, three sons and daughter. He’s a coffee aficionado and can be found most weekends entertaining with culinary delights and perfecting the art of Texas BBQ.

Chief Commercial Officer

Adam Bridges

A commercial executive with over 34 years of surface transportation experience that includes rail carload, intermodal, trucking, and marine and inland ports.

Adam began his career with Conrail in Philadelphia, PA and has worked in many functions including Marketing, Operations and Finance. While at Conrail, Adam drove the development of On Dock Rail terminals at PANYNJ in the 1990s and was the leader of the PANYNJ intermodal equipment efficiency task force. Adam traveled globally to visit customers and to become educated on best in class transportation applications. Adam then joined CSX and worked on various Carload and Intermodal initiatives, including the Six Sigma program to improve safety.

Another key project that Adam helped lead was focused on locomotive and coal hopper utilization. Adam left CSX in 2009 to join private equity and the largest transportation equipment leasing company in North America.

As VP of Marketing, Adam led the effort to develop new products, grow share, and drive utilization.

In 2014 Adam moved to Florida East Coast Railway as SVP of Marketing & Sales. In that role, he’s also the head of Customer Service and the Highway Services business unit. At FECR, Adam was part of the leadership team that doubled EBITDA and drove the successful sale of FECR to GMXT.

Adam is married with two grown sons and 3 grandchildren. He enjoys golf, sailing and hiking with his family.

Adam holds a BA/BS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.

VP Engineering, Chief Data Scientist

Brad Howard, PhD

Rail-focused data scientist and systems engineer specializing in train dynamics and motion physics.

Brad Howard is an outcome-driven innovator who has always been fueled by learning how the world works and how he can make it better through technology.

Brad is a data scientist and systems engineer who specializes in train physics and autonomous train control. He possesses extensive experience in applying numerical optimization, machine learning and artificial intelligence across different industrial disciplines. Brad is one of the world’s preeminent autonomous rail technologists.

Like his co-founder, Greg Hrebek, Brad has been heavily involved in the development and deployment of most of the world’s major train control product offerings. In fact, Greg and Brad often recruited one another to join these ventures.
Railspire’s novel and proprietary technology enables autonomous locomotive driving. As Railspire’s chief data scientist and VP of engineering, Brad is responsible for its development and deployment.

Brad played NCAA Division I hockey for the United States Military Academy at West Point before earning his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University.

When he’s not busy solving the world’s problems, he loves spending time with his wife, daughter and son while finding time to hike and relax next to the pool.

VP of Customer Engagement

Connie Nordhues-Bieber

A 27 year rail industry veteran who collaborates with all levels of organizations to find solutions that add value by improving safety, efficiency and productivity.

A 27 year rail industry veteran, Connie began her professional career with Union Pacific Railroad.

After completing the UP Management Development Program, she spent several years in Finance on building capacity business cases and then moved to the Mechanical group and was responsible for locomotive fleet strategy.

After a short stint outside the rail industry, Connie came back to work on the Supplier and Short Line side of the industry. She has worked for RJ Corman, Siemens, RELCO and Wi-Tronix prior to Railspire.

Throughout her career, her emphasis has been working hand-in-hand with all levels of organizations in finding solutions that add value by improving safety, efficiency and productivity. Connie is active in the Locomotive Maintenance Officers’ Association and currently participates on the Locomotive Systems and Software Committee.

Connie’s passions after everything Railroading are family, travel, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. She plans to complete traveling to all 50 US states in 2022. She loves to entertain outside around the fire pit and she almost never misses a Nebraska football or volleyball game. Connie and her husband, Paul, have one son currently attending UNL.

Connie studied at Creighton University in Omaha, NE where she earned her BS in Business Administration with a focus on Accounting and Finance. She also obtained her CPA certificate.

Chief Information & Security Officer

Tom Allen

A technology veteran, with 20 years of rail industry experience, who builds and maintains large-scale computing infrastructure and secures complex networked environments.

Tom has almost 20 years of rail industry experience. He was responsible for customer support, computing infrastructure, and release management of RailDOCS which is a Software as a Service platform providing testing, inspection and configuration management.

In 2012, Tom joined Florida East Coast Railway's information technology group and was promoted into the role of AVP of IT after its acquisition by GMXT. In 2020, Tom accepted the CIO role at Nivel Parts and Manufacturing where he led network modernization, virtualization and remote work efforts.

Nivel was acquired by Morgan Stanley in 2021, after which Tom returned to the rail industry as Railspire’s Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Security Officer.

A lifelong Florida resident, Tom enjoys the beach, as well as biking and running with his family. A technology generalist and enthusiast, he also contributes to several online software development projects.

Board Chairman

Lester Hightower

A second-generation railroader with over 26 years of experience in leading technology companies and departments.

Lester is a second-generation railroader with over 26 years of experience in surface transportation.

Professionally, Lester has focused on transportation related technologies and has held entrepreneurial and senior executive roles through the ranks of several industry-leading companies.

Early in his career, Lester founded and grew RailDOCS, a prominent SaaS platform to the rail transportation industry that is now a property of Wabtec. For a seven year span, Lester was the Chief Information Officer of Florida East Coast Railway, a high-volume regional railroad with multiple trucking subsidiaries, and was part of the leadership team that doubled EBITDA and drove the successful sale of FECR to GMXT.

Several times throughout Lester's career, he has worked with private equity firms. Most recently, Lester partnered with One Eighty Capital to sponsor startup technology companies within surface transportation, including Railspire.

Lester is a Florida native who loves sunshine. You can frequently find him in or around his backyard pool, or in one of two boats -- a pontoon boat for family fun or a bass boat, fishing. Lester is also a founding Board Member of the not-for-profit Rivere Foundation, which does business as Let Me Be 83.

Lester attended Florida State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and graduated Cum Laude.

A Team With Decades in Rail Experience.

Railspire’s technical team combines expertise in the physics of train dynamics and artificial intelligence with extensive railroading knowledge. More broadly, Railspire’s leadership has many years of rail experience in Operations, Commercial, and IT, giving the group perspectives from both railroads and shippers.

127

COMBINED YEARS IN RAIL

135

ENGINEERING HOURS OF RAIL AUTOMATION

1

LINES OF TRAIN CONTROL CODE WRITTEN

Orchestration Today Autonomy Tomorrow

Railspire makes operator-led mission-based orchestration a reality today and paves the way towards an autonomous future.

Would You Like To IMPROVE SERVICE? INCREASE SAFETY? LOWER COSTS? REDUCE RISK? BOOST PRODUCTIVITY? RETAIN KEY EMPLOYEES? ATTRACT TALENT? DRIVE CONSISTENCY? GROW YOUR BUSINESS?