EarningsThe more I follow these companies, the more I realize how little I know about how the world around me works. Today, Trimble announced today that it has acquired Nexala, a privately-held company that makes enterprise solutions for railway operators. Like many big, complex bits of machinery, rail engines and other vehicles need to be managed — tracked for usage, planned maintenance, repair and so on. It makes perfect sense, and I’m glad someone’s thinking about it.

Before the acquisition, Trimble solutions were used to plan tracks and do the site work for construction; for operations, Trimble’s fleet solutions, which I always thought were trucking-specific, as well as its Positive Train Control (PTC) mapping systems aid in passenger and freight railroad operations. With Nexala, it adds repair depot operations to the portfolio, with asset management, operational planning, workshop scheduling, and maintenance planning along with on-train monitoring equipment for remote diagnostics.

Ron Bisio, general manager of Trimble’s Railway Solutions Business explained, “many of the largest railways in the world rely on Trimble solutions to plan, build and maintain their track and structures. With the addition of Nexala, we also offer rail vehicle lifecycle management solutions for passenger and freight train operators. Trimble can now provide innovative solutions for both the track infrastructure and the train assets that ride on it.”

The Nexala business will be reported in Trimble’s Engineering and Construction Segment. It is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Financial terms were not disclosed, but it appears that Nexala is a relatively small company, whose revenue will not be material to Trimble.