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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Updates from Parsons Brinckerhoff, Alstom, L.B. Foster, GATX and Hub Group


• The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) appointed Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) Senior Engineering Manager Pete Turrell chief operating officer of the Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit (CFCRT) project in Orlando. He will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of CFCRT commuter-rail operations and service. PB is providing final design technical review, vehicle procurement and other services for the project. The 61-mile CFCRT corridor — to be built along CSX Transportation right of way FDOT will acquire — will run from Amtrak’s Deland Station through Orlando to Poinciana Boulevard. The initial 31-mile segment between DeBary and Orlando is scheduled to open in 2011.

• Alstom has opened a new office in Washington, D.C., to extend its North American network. Growing demand for efficient mass transportation systems and clean, alternative power-generation technologies in North America “presents unique opportunities for Alstom in the region,” the company said.

• L.B. Foster Co. reported third-quarter net sales of $145.6 million, up 7.2 percent compared with third-quarter 2007’s net sales. The gain was driven both by increased rail product and construction product sales. The company’s gross profit margin rose 15.6 percent. However, income from continuing operations totaled $8.1 million or 76 cents per diluted share compared with $14.5 million or $1.32 per diluted share in third-quarter 2007.

• GATX Corp. reported third-quarter rail segment profit of $106.3 million vs. third-quarter 2007’s $68.5 million. Rail segment profit rose from $203.8 million a year ago to $250.4 million primarily because of renewal rate increases in prior quarters, favorable foreign exchange rates and increased scrapping income. The company’s fleet utilization of 97.8 percent dropped slightly from third-quarter 2007’s 97.9 percent.

• Intermodal marketing company Hub Group Inc. reported record third-quarter diluted earnings per share of 45 cents, up 7 percent compared with third-quarter 2007 earnings. Operating income increased 10 percent to $27.3 million and revenue jumped 23 percent to $514.2 million. Intermodal revenue increased 22 percent to $369.7 million primarily because volume rose 9 percent and rates increased 13 percent. Logistics revenue jumped 20 percent to $43.3 million.

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More News from 10/23/2008