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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Updates from IBM, Unit Rail, GE Transportation and Alstom; and 'People' news from HDR, LTK Engineering Services and Railinc

• On Wednesday, IBM announced that three U.S. transit systems will use the company’s software: MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). LIRR will deploy IBM Maximo software to manage and maintain 1,180 rail cars, locomotives and associated components as to help “ improve operations and passenger safety,” according to a prepared statement. As part of a project expected to be completed in 2012, IBM will help LIRR expand its asset management system to include facilities, bridges, tunnels and linear assets such as rail. Meanwhile, BART will use IBM Maximo software to manage the purchasing, inventory and maintenance systems that support trains, stations, equipment and operations. As part of a multi-year modernization project that includes updating and integrating existing equipment, and expanding its rail-car fleet, BART will use the software to monitor the condition and location of all assets. Finally, WMATA is using IBM software to monitor all its buses, trains and related equipment. WMATA already uses the software to maintain 594 escalators and 275 elevators.

• Unit Rail, the rail fastening division of Amsted Rail, recently acquired Advanced Track Products (ATP), a provider of fasteners in the transit-rail market. “The joining of these two companies will provide customers with a solid and stable supplier of top-quality products for all aspects of the rail industry,” said Wes Hodges, Unit Rail vice president and general manager, in a prepared statement. Bill Osler and Scott Osler will continue running ATP, which will retain its Mattituck, N.Y., headquarters.

• On Wednesday, GE Transportation announced the shipment of the first two of its newest PowerHaul Series freight locomotives to Freightliner Group Ltd. in the United Kingdom – marking GE Transportation’s entry into the U.K. and European marketplace. The two locomotives represent the first of a 30-unit order placed in November 2007 by Freightliner. Four more PowerHaul locomotives are scheduled to ship in November.

• On Tuesday, Alstom signed two “cooperation agreements” covering the production of turnout motors and the supply of a tram system for Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, Kazakhstan’s national railway operator. To be developed by a soon-to-be-established joint venture, the turnout motors will feature Alstom’s “latest technological advancements,” including a remote diagnostic system, according to a prepared statement. Under the tram system pact, Alstom will adapt its Citadis tram to “local climate constraints,” as well provide long-term system maintenance.

• On the “people in the news” front: Charles O’Reilly, who most recently served as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s assistant general manager for design and construction, joined HDR as director of the firm’s 21-state East Region; William Rhea Jr., who’d most recently served Union Switch & Signal/Ansaldo STS USA as a senior consulting engineer, joined LTK Engineering Services as senior vehicle consultant; and Kansas City Southern Railway Vice President and Chief Information Officer Carl Harrison joined Railinc Corp.’s board.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/9/2009