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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Updates from AnsaldoBreda, FreightCar America, GE South African Technologies, RailComm and Georgetown Rail Equipment

• AnsaldoBreda won a five-year, $54 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded contract to upgrade 143 light-rail vehicles for the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency. The vehicles will be transported to AnsaldoBreda’s Pittsburg, Calif., plant, where vehicle doors, steps, couplers, air supply units, wirings and bearings will be overhauled.

• On Sunday, FreightCar America Inc.’s board appointed Edward Whalen as president and chief executive officer, replacing Christian Ragot, who left the company “by mutual consent,” according to a prepared statement. Whalen, who has nearly 40 years of rail-car industry experience, joined FreightCar America as one of a group of investors who acquired the predecessor company in 1991 from Bethlehem Steel. Whalen most recently served as FreightCar America’s senior vice president, marketing and sales, from December 2004 to September 2008, when he retired. Prior to joining FreightCar America, Whalen spent 19 years at Pullman Inc., last serving as president of Pullman Leasing Co. Ragout had served as president and CEO since April 2007.

• GE South African Technologies last week signed a contract with Transnet Limited to supply Transnet Freight Rail with 100 locomotives. Ten of the locomotives will be manufactured in the United States, and 90 will be manufactured locally at Transnet Rail Engineering’s site in South Africa with kits provided by GE Transportation. GE’s model C30Aci — the first AC diesel electric locomotive to be introduced to sub-Saharan Africa, according to GE — will feature an engine that delivers 3,300 gross horsepower using an electronic fuel-injection system designed to automatically supply the exact amount of fuel needed for optimal engine efficiency.

• RailComm recently commissioned a centralized traffic control (CTC) system for Capital MetroRail’s commuter-rail service in Austin, Texas. The system’s track warrant control portion of the system was launched 32 days from the signed “notice to proceed,” according to a prepared statement. Capital MetroRail contracted RailComm to expand the initial DOC® Track Warrant Control system to include CTC functionality for signalized locations. RailComm was responsible for the central office control system, as well as providing the data communication network to the controlled interlockings and other field equipment.

• Georgetown Rail Equipment Co. promoted Nate Bachman to vice president-operations, effective Jan. 1. The company also named Jeff Stone assistant VP-operations, a newly created position.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/22/2009