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Rail News: Intermodal

Updates from Alstom, ENSCO, Tracksure, Wabash National, Faiveley Transport, Prover Technology, Pacer, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Safety Vision

Here's nine domestic and international developments from the rail supply/service provider industries:

• Alstom Transport landed a multi-billion-dollar agreement with the U.K. Department for Transport to supply and maintain high-speed tilting trains for the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow. A rolling stock notice to proceed calls for the delivery of four 11-car Pendolino trains, which will be placed in service in 2011 and 2012. An option calls for 21 remaining trains to be lengthened to 11 cars. A maintenance notice to proceed calls for maintaining the Pendolino fleet until April 1, 2012.

• ENSCO won a contract from Canadian Pacific Railway to provide its Deployable Gage Restraint Measurement System (GRMS), which is designed to locate bad ties and fasteners in track. ENSCO jointly developed GRMS' suspension system with Austria's Plasser and Theuerer to provide a deployable GRMS in a railbound high-speed test car. ENSCO is commercializing deployable GRMS technology, which was developed for the Federal Railroad Administration's DOTX 18 self-propelled inspection car.

• CSX Transportation has installed Tracksure's nut locking device, the supplier's first U.S. installation following projects in Holland and Italy, Tracksure said. The Class I used the devices on a retarder system at its Indianapolis yard. The nut locking device is designed to prevent unintentional nut loosening caused by vibration and settling, and requires no special tools, Tracksure said.

• Japan's Shiga Transport Co. Ltd. has purchased a demonstration set of RoadRailer® intermodal equipment from Wabash National Corp. Representing the Japanese trucking industry, Shiga Transport will analyze RoadRailer equipment — over-the-road trailers equipped for rail intermodal service — for potential intermodal products in Japan. A national demonstration is scheduled to occur next month.

• French company Faiveley Transport has entered into exclusive discussions to purchase Ellcon-National and its affiliates. Founded in 1910, Ellcon-National supplies freight-car products, including brakes and loading devices, locomotive brakes and passenger-car equipment, such as stainless steel doors and windows. The acquisition would enable Faiveley Transport to penetrate the North American market and freight-car brake business, the company said.

• Semiconductor software and IP provider Synopsys Inc. has invested in Prover Technology AB, which provides signaling design automation services for systems that control trains, switches and signals. Prover will use the proceeds to accelerate research and development efforts and expand operations in Europe, North America and Asia.

• Third-party logistics and freight transportation provider Pacer International Inc. reported first quarter revenue of $509.4 million vs. $465.1 million in first-quarter 2007. Net income nearly doubled from $7.8 million to $14.3 million and income from operations increased by $10.2 million to $24.6 million. Intermodal segment income rose by $12.7 million.

• Martha Clark Gross, Ashok Kothari, George Pierson and Rodney Slater have been elected to Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc.'s board. Each will serve a three-year term.

• Safety Vision L.P. has named Russell Austen director of engineering. He previously was system architect/design lead for Immersive Media Inc./Freestone Systems Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. Safety Vision provides mobile video systems, including onboard surveillance and collision avoidance camera systems.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/7/2008