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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Updates from AECOM Technology, Wabtec, MISCOR Group and Encore Rail Systems

• AECOM Technology Corp. recently received a $20 million contract to provide program management services for the city of Edmonton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension from downtown Edmonton to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. AECOM will provide program management and design services for Phase I of the two-mile extension, which will branch off the existing underground LRT with about 2,300 feet of tunnel section; the remaining 1.5 miles will be built at surface level. Three new LRT stations will be built at “health care and educational institution destination points,” according to a prepared statement. The project’s total construction cost is about $708 million.

• Yesterday, Wabtec Corp. issued a statement on an arbitration ruling it received Dec. 24 involving claims filed against the company by Faiveley Transport Malmo AB. “In 1993, we entered into a license agreement with SAB WABCO, then an affiliated company, in which SAB WABCO granted us a license to the intellectual property and know-how related to the manufacturing and marketing of certain transit braking components,” according to the statement. Then, in 2005, Faiveley Transport purchased SAB WABCO; the license agreement was terminated at 2006’s end and Wabtec “reverse-engineered the products at issue.” In 2007, Faiveley Transport Malmo filed a request for arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce alleging breach of contract and trade secret violations relating to Wabtec’s manufacture and sale of the limited number of transit braking components covered in the license agreement. “The Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling entitles Wabtec to continue to manufacture and sell these components for current and future contracts using its reverse-engineered manufacturing drawings, and it says that Wabtec should pay $3.9 million to Faiveley Transport Malmo as a reasonable royalty based on past and predicted future sales of these components through 2011,” according to Wabtec. The supplier will record a one-time charge for the royalty payment. “We are pleased that the arbitration process is concluded and that the ruling will have no impact on our ability to provide products and services to our customers now and in the future,” the company concluded.

• Industrial services provider MISCOR Group Ltd. has begun a “comprehensive restructuring plan designed to refocus the company on its core industrial services business,” according to a Dec. 23 prepared statement. The restructuring plan includes a number of organizational changes and the sale of non-core businesses that don’t “align” with the company’s long-term vision — including its rail holdings. On Dec. 21, MISCOR completed the sale of its AMP-Montreal business unit, which had been part of its rail service segment, to Novatech, Inc. for $1.5 million, including $1.1 million in cash and a note for $400,000 to be paid over three years. The restructuring plan also calls for MISCOR to divest its remaining rail services subsidiaries.

• Encore Rail Systems Inc. recently named Tony Chambers eastern region sales manager. Chambers’ railroad sales experience includes a stint with Burke-Parsons-Bowlby Corp. Encore Rail Systems provides railway tie plugging, and rail seat abrasion prevention and repair.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/29/2009