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Rail News: Financials

Updates from WAGO, Kalmar, Greenbrier, Transplace, RailComm, Portec, Railinc, Mechel and Sure Seal

Rail industry suppliers and service providers have much news to share at mid-week:

• WAGO Corp. has completed an expansion to its North American headquarters in Germantown, Wis. The company increased manufacturing and storage capacity from 60,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet. WAGO supplies spring pressure connection products designed to eliminate loose wires caused by vibration and temperature cycling.

• Kalmar Industries won an order from the Port of Tacoma to supply seven CSC 340 straddle carriers for intermodal rail operations. The port will use the carriers to load and unload double-stack container cars at an on-dock rail facility. Kalmar will deliver the carriers — which will be designed to stack containers three high — by October.

• The Greenbrier Cos. announced its non-operating TrentonWorks Ltd. subsidiary has applied to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to enter receivership. In April 2007, Greenbrier announced a plan to close the rail-car manufacturing operation in Trenton, Nova Scotia, because TrentonWorks had become "uncompetitive." Since then, Greenbrier has worked with Ernst & Young to market the facility and contacted more than 200 potential buyers. However, Greenbrier couldn't swing a deal and TrentonWorks now is seeking the receivership.

• Third-party logistics provider Transplace Inc. has launched Transplace Mexico, a Mexican subsidiary. Transplace Mexico will offer transportation management; freight, U.S. customs and Mexican customs brokerage; border processing; warehousing and distribution; ocean forwarding; and airfreight services. Transplace also named Robert Brescia executive vice president and chief operations officer. He most recently was chief logistics officer for Volkswagen of America.

• RailComm Inc. obtained a contract to provide a wireless remote-control derail system for BNSF Railway Co.'s Pasco Yard in Washington state. The system uses a workstation networked to an existing Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) server platform to enable BNSF personnel to control and/or monitor an existing remote-control derail application as well as a new application. Service tracks will be protected by remotely controlling the appropriate derail device with associated blue strobe light warning indication.

• Portec Rail Products Inc. reported unaudited fourth-quarter net income of $1.1 million, a 33 percent increase compared with fourth-quarter 2006's total. The company also reported full-year unaudited net income of $6.1 million, which also rose 33 percent. Quarterly net sales increased 9 percent to $24.9 million and full-year net sales rose 10 percent to $109.5 million compared with 2006 figures.

• For the fourth-straight year, Railinc has completed a Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 70 Type II examination, which includes detailed testing of the company's internal controls. Established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a SAS 70 report provides an independent assessment of a service organization's specified controls. Railinc provides real-time interline rail data services to the North American transportation industry.

• Russian mining and metals firm Mechel OAO reached a long-term agreement with the Russian Railways to build a rail and structural steel mill at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant during the next two years. The parties will produce rails up to 80 feet in length using state-of-the-art technologies for steel melting, rolling, tempering, straightening, finishing and rail quality control, Mechel said.

• OPW Fluid Transfer Group division Sure Seal named Eric Melton biofuels sales manager. He most recently was Sure Seal's Midwestern regional sales manager. Melton will be responsible for sales of valves and automation devices to the renewable fuels markets, including grain-based and cellulosic ethanol, and biodiesel production.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/27/2008