Primedia Directories Launches E-commerce-Based Rail Site – Brief Article – Company Profile

Primedia Directories Launches E-commerce-Based Rail Site – Brief Article – Company Profile – Statistical Data Included

Primedia Directories, the soon-to-be Commonwealth Business Media, last month launched RailResource.com, an online Internet directory and marketplace designed to provide products and services to the railroad freight carrying industry.

“We are leveraging the strength and visibility of The Pocket List of Railroad Officials, a print directory of more than 1,000 railroad companies and suppliers that has been published since 1895,” said content editor Kathy Keeney. She said the directory will supply the bulk of the listings for RailResource.com.

In addition to the Pocket List directory, RailResource.com consists of UniRailNet, an international purchasing site for railroad materials, and RailSelect, a service created to supply short haul rail lines and regional railroads with competitive prices for parts and materials.

Keeney said the site is free to print directory advertisers, but that buyers and sellers are charged a nominal registration fee when they are using it for transactions. She said the initial business plan calls for RailResource.com to generate revenue by collecting between 1% and 2% of each transaction that occurs through the site.

Keeney said the site is also designed to increase subscribers to the Pocket List print directory, which is updated quarterly and costs $180. She said ads in the directory range from $500 for a quarter page to $1,000 for a full page.

Keeney said future plans for RailResource.com call for linking the sites of the railroad suppliers to users and to expand the site internationally. She cautioned that although the site is designed to bring the print directory more subscribers, management is keeping an eye on print sales, so as not to cannibalize the publication’s print base.

Primedia Directories (Hightstown, NJ) was purchased in August by Boston-based Bariston Partners for an estimated $35 million (RDP, August 2000). The sale is expected to close later this month.

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