Announcements continue to pour in from rail industry suppliers and service providers:
• ARINC Inc. won a contract from Amtrak to design and deliver a Centralized Electrification and Traffic Control system for the Northeast Corridor. Based on ARINC's Advanced Information Management AIM® software platform, the system will be used to dispatch trains for Amtrak, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Maryland Rail Commuter service, New Jersey Transit, Virginia Railway Express, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation.
• FreightCar America Inc. announced an arbitrator has ruled the company is responsible for providing back pay and appropriate benefits to affected employees at its closed Johnstown, Pa., plant. The ruling stems from the United Steelworkers of America's grievance filed in response to the plant's closing. The union sought to settle a dispute regarding the classification of employees' years of service and the company's obligations to employees based on service time. The ruling covers more than half of the workers who were employed at the Johnstown plant at the time the grievance was filed.
• The Greenbrier Cos. named Martin Baker senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer. He most recently was corporate VP, general counsel, secretary and compliance officer for Lattice Semiconductor Corp. Baker previously served Altera Corp. as general counsel and secretary, and Vitelic Corp. as VP and general counsel.
• The Andersons Inc. Rail Group reported record first-quarter operating income of $6.4 million, more than double first-quarter 2007 income of $3 million. Revenue rose 35 percent to $35 million. The lessor's average rail-car utilization rate reached 93.4 percent vs. 92.5 percent in first-quarter 2007. The group's rail-car repair business also increased in the quarter primarily because of the addition of a repair shop in second-half 2007.
• American Railcar Industries Inc. (ARI) reported first-quarter revenue of $184 million and net earnings of $10.1 million compared with $187.3 million and $13.5 million, respectively, in first-quarter 2007. The company delivered 1,902 cars vs. 1,921 cars last year. Revenue and car shipments decreased primarily because of lower volumes and selling prices for hopper cars, the company said. However, tank car deliveries — including those from ARI's new car facility in Marmaduke, Ark. — increased year over year. The company's backlog on March 31 stood at 10,077 cars.
• In fiscal-year 2007/08 ending March 31, Alstom's order intake reached $36 billion, increasing 23 percent compared with the previous fiscal year and setting a new record. Sales rose 19 percent, income from operations increased 35 percent and net income jumped 56 percent. Alstom Transport's sales went up 4 percent.
• Rail Exchange Inc. named Rick Leonard sales associate. He will be responsible for Class I sales and developing new rail-car and locomotive repair shop business. Leonard most recently was an account executive for Dekalb Forge. He previously served as vice president of sales for Modern Drop Forge and VP of sales for Reisner Metals Co. Founded in 1979, Rail Exchange supplies locomotive and freight-car parts.
• Salco Products Inc. has introduced TEV-1, a tamper-evident/resistant, non-cycling vacuum relief valve for rail cars. The valve is designed to help protect food grade and contaminant sensitive products from tampering. The TEV-1 is approved for use by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and is available in AAR-recommended pressure settings. Salco supplies plastic and metal products to the freight transportation industries.
• ContiTech Air Spring Systems has received a quality certificate according to IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard) from the international railway industry. Equivalent to automobile industry quality standard ISO/TS 16949, the IRIS-based quality standard evaluates manufacturers' and suppliers' project, bid and change management, as well as reliability, availability, maintenance and product safety.