GE announced yesterday it is forming a joint venture with Accenture to combine product diagnostic, software and analytics to help railroads, airlines, hospitals, manufacturers and energy companies increase productivity and reduce costs. For railroads, new products will help improve their asset, operations and network performance, GE officials said in a prepared statement. Norfolk Southern Railway is serving as the launch customer for GE's RailConnect Transportation Management System and Movement Planner System, which are designed to use analytics to provide real-time access to critical information. The systems will help railroads move more freight faster and "more intelligently," GE officials said.
Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a subsidiary of Caterpillar's Progress Rail Services, has opened a locomotive manufacturing plant in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The facility is the company's first locomotive assembly plant to open in Brazil in more than 20 years, EMD officials said in a prepared statement. The company plans to produce the EMD SD70ACe locomotive, as well as other models, at the plant. Progress Rail and EMD announced the site selection in July 2011 and began work on the facility in February 2012.
Bombardier Transportation has obtained a $198 million order from Public Transport Victoria to supply 40 additional diesel multiple units featuring the VLocity design. The company will provide 19 additional intermediate cars to convert existing two-car trainsets to three-car sets, and supply seven additional new three-car sets. The order will result in a total fleet of 58 three-car Bombardier VLocity trains, according to a company press release.
Alstom, as part of a consortium with CAF Brazil, was chosen to supply 15 metro trainsets to Urban Trains of Porto Alegre Brazil, Trensurb. The contract is worth $103.8 million to Alstom. With the order, Trensurb's metro fleet will increase by 60 percent, according to an Alstom press release. Alstom will execute about 90 percent of the contract and supply the major part of the metro trains. CAF Brazil will supply the trucks.
Kelso Technologies Inc. acquired from James Wilson Co. proprietary and manufacturing rights for the education tube (ETS) product line for $65,000. ETS is used in the loading and unloading of highly corrosive chemicals from rail tank cars and road tank trailers. Growth in the petroleum, natural gas and oil sands industries has fueled increases in demand for new rail tank cars in 2013 and 2014, a market of interest for Kelso, company officials said in a press release. Kelso will market ETS as the Kelso Tiger Tube™ and sell it to OEM, retrofit and repair customers in conjunction with its external pressure-relief valve designed for acid handling and transport.
Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) and its subsidiary Joint Stock Company Lokomotiv obtained a $425 million credit agreement from Export-Import Bank of the United States to finance KTZ's purchase of 200 GE Evolution Series locomotives and locomotive kits. The agreement represents the single-largest amount of financing that Ex-Im Bank has provided to a railroad in 15 years, according to an Ex-Im Bank press release. The locomotive and kit contract is GE's largest equipment sale to KTZ since it began selling to the railway in 2000, the release states.