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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Updates from Bombardier, Ansaldo STS USA, Knorr-Bremse, GE Transportation and Parsons Brinckerhoff

• Bombardier Transportation and its joint venture partners in China recently signed a $291 million contract with Shanghai Rail Transit Line 12 Development Co. Ltd. to supply 246 BOMBARDIER MOVIA metro cars (41 six-car trains), including spare parts and operator staff training. The contract was awarded to Changchun Bombardier Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd. (CBRC) and a propulsion system consortium that comprises Bombardier Transportation Sweden and Changzhou Railcar Propulsion Engineering R&D Center. Bombardier's share of the contract amounts to about $138 million. The metro cars will be assembled at CBRC’s production facilities in Changchun. Propulsion equipment  will be manufactured at Bombardier CPC Propulsion System Co. Ltd.’s facility in Changzhou and at Bombardier production facilities in Vasteras, Sweden. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in about two years.

• Ansaldo STS USA was awarded an $11.9 million subcontract from Mass Electric Construction Co. as a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s “Rehabilitation of Red Line Metro Rail System - Dupont Circle to Silver Spring” project. Ansaldo STS USA is responsible for upgrading the automatic train control system, which includes replacing switches and signals, and upgrading eight interlockings from mechanical relays to Microlok® II solid-state controls. The supplier also is responsible for replacing the emergency trip stations, public address system and closed-circuit TVs at stations with related communications design.

• On Wednesday, Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems acquired Sydac, an Australia-based company that specializes in driving simulators for rail vehicles. The purchase brings Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems’ 2009 acquisition total to four companies. The other three: Italy’s De Zan, which offers precision machining of sheet metal for product housings; Italy’s EMC Traction, which provides circuit-breakers for railway applications; and Premtec, a brake hose specialist that was acquired by Knorr-Bremse’s North American subsidiary, New York Air Brake Corp.

• Wednesday’s passage of the Jobs for Main Street Act by the U.S. House of Representatives brought GE Transportation “a major step closer” to receiving a potential order for next- generation, higher-speed passenger locomotives from Amtrak, according to a prepared statement. The Act provides $800 million for Amtrak fleet modernization, including the purchase of new “fuel efficient locomotives.” Once the funding for Amtrak is enacted into law, GE officials believe they “can provide a superior proposal to Amtrak for the new locomotives.”

• Ken McDonald was named senior engineering manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB). He’ll serve as a program manager, responsible for overseeing major transit projects throughout the United States. He will be based in PB’s Atlanta office. McDonald has more than 25 years of experience in the transit industry, most recently as chief operating officer for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, where he was responsible for overall operations of the city’s surface transit network including light rail, cable cars, historic streetcars, buses and electric trolley coaches. Prior to that, McDonald spent 20 years with Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, serving in a variety of senior management positions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/18/2009