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Rail News Home People

June 2007

Rail News: People

Top Executives on the Marketplace (special advertising section)


Ken Burk
Union Switch & Signal Inc.

Paul J. Copeland
Balfour Beatty Rail Inc.

Kam Mofid
Teleflex Power Systems

Bill Kiefer
A. Stucki Company

Ken Burk is president and
chief executive officer of
Union Switch & Signal Inc.,
which designs, manufactures
and services signaling,
automation and control
equipment and systems for
the railroad and mass transit
industries. Burk has been with
US&S for six years.
Many companies talk about innovation. We prove it.
With ever increasing demands on rail shipping capacity, the railroads are seeking the highest possible investment value in achieving their goals of providing greater throughput and safety.

For over 125 years, Union Switch & Signal has led the industry in providing innovative control technologies to help the railroads meet their objectives. This leadership continues in responding to today’s challenges with the introduction and deployment of a number of unique solutions that are focused on driving real business value for the railroads. They include:

Vital Positive Train Control™ (VPTC) This year, US&S entered into the second phase of a VPTC project, with plans for completion in 2008. When fully deployed, this project will mark the first implementation of digital authorities for “vitally” enforced train movements in both CTC and dark territory. For railroads, this solution will provide greater efficiency in operations, increased velocity and capacity, and improve operational safety.

Optimized Traffic Planner™ (OTP) US&S is currently under contract to provide a real-time, optimized traffic planner for a Class I railroad. This system provides optimized movement planning for single or multiple business objectives across specific divisions, territories, or entire networks, with the ability to quickly respond to unplanned disturbances to mitigate any operational impact. This enables our customers to increase velocity, reduce dwell times and fuel costs, while improving capacity.

Common Operational Picture™ (COP) Providing railroads the ability to “see” one another while routing trains through congested, shared track locations can reduce dwell times and significantly improve overall network velocity. The COP platform developed by US&S uses Web-based technology to provide this capability to dispatchers on multiple railroads, and will be demonstrated in Chicago within the next two months.

Microlok® Object Controller (MOC) Conceived in close collaboration with our customers, the Microlok Object Controller is one of our latest offerings to provide the power, flexibility, and vitality of our Microlok II in an affordable, compact package that can be used in a variety of applications. Examples include:

  • Dark Territory Switch monitoring and/or control
  • Intermediate Signal Control
  • Electric lock control and monitoring
  • Swing bridge monitoring
  • Slide fence detection
  • Data logging

Vital Peer Protocol System™ To speed adoption of technologies that can drive operational improvements, US&S is publishing the first “open” protocol for vital, Internet-based, communication with wayside equipment. Railroads will now have the ability to utilize this protocol and apply it for use with equipment from multiple suppliers.

At Union Switch & Signal, our history of innovation is the result of our unending focus on the business needs of our customers. And we see that the renaissance being experienced in the industry today is enabling the railroads to invest in strategic initiatives that will provide the long-term business value they are seeking. This is an exciting time for us and the beginning of a new era in providing solutions to the rail industry.

Paul J. Copeland is
president and chief
executive officer of
Balfour Beatty Rail Inc.
Continue to grow with an ever increasing focus on safety
It’s that simple! At Balfour Beatty Rail Inc., we stay focused on our goals and objectives of gaining new opportunities, but safety always comes first!

The U.S. rail market is an important one for us and our parent company, Balfour Beatty plc. In 2006, U.S. railroads had operating revenue in excess of $47 billion, and spent more than $41 billion on operating expenses. And, we are seeing even more opportunities in both the freight and passenger rail businesses. These are definitely two markets that Balfour Beatty will continue to invest in for growth.

Last year, Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. completed an in-depth North American strategy review. We spoke to our customers, consultants and various industry experts, and built up a view of what is going on in the market. The North American rail market is growing at a fast pace, and we are positioning our business accordingly. We have finished transitioning to our new core leadership team, and have realigned some of our operations for enhanced synergies and project management. Additionally, we are focusing efforts to ensure that we are operating consistently across the business while maintaining the highest level of safety and quality. We have implemented business processes and procedures that will provide consistent results across all of our regional operating offices, and we are now seeing the benefits.

In the freight market, we continue to maintain our regional focus to ensure we meet our customers’ needs. In addition to developing a regional business, we have also ensured that each of our individual offices is there to serve its local customers. While we are a national business, we never forget each and every one of our neighborhood partners. We have restructured our engineering group, and under new leadership, the focus will be on expanding the activities within the department, with particular focus on further developing our signal design business. The engineering and design department will support our existing signal crossings group, as well as provide design services to our customers.

Making headway
Many of our transit projects are making great strides and nearing completion. The Broad Street project for SEPTA in Philadelphia has seen most of the construction completed, and the owner is starting to take control of the new signal system. The Greenbush project in Boston is close to completion, and testing is scheduled to be completed in late August. The design phase for the Gold Line project in Los Angeles is almost completed, and we will begin the installation of signals, power and catenary this summer. We are very busy on the newest project for Caltrain in San Francisco, which has already started, and has already seen the successful completion of some challenging outages. Another project for Caltrain is due to start later this year.

My personal objective for Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. is to focus even more on safety by implementing timely and mandatory training for all managers, supervisors and workforce personnel. Already we have completed training for the senior management team, as well as the entire management across the business. Safety is about people, and that is where we will direct our efforts. The leadership team and myself will continue to enforce the fact that safety must come first. If we can’t do it safely, then we won’t do it at all!

On behalf of Balfour Beatty Rail Inc., I’d like to thank our employees, suppliers, partners and customers for their continued support and commitment to our growth, and more importantly, the safety of our workforce, customers, the traveling public and the environments in which we work.

Kam Mofid is president
of Teleflex Power Systems,
a global leader in auxiliary
power systems, advanced
auxiliary heaters, and
alternative fuel components
and systems. Teleflex Power
Systems serves a wide variety
of transportation markets.
Teleflex Power Systems — Helping the rail industry meeting the challenges of fuel consumption and emmission reduction
The 21st century has ushered in an era of the rail industry that is filled with new challenges. Among them are coping with escalating fuel costs, reducing noise in residential areas, and decreasing harmful locomotive emissions.

Tens of thousands of locomotives operate across North America every day. Because of the nature of the business and the logistics involved, many of them spend up to 60 percent of each day idling. Minimizing the impact of locomotive idling is a great opportunity to save on fuel costs, increase profitability, and help the environment.

Teleflex Power Systems, a business unit of Teleflex Inc., has invested a great deal of time, money, and engineering know-how in the past few years to develop highly effective and innovative fuel management and emission reduction products and technologies.

We are a global leader in alternative fuel components and systems, fuel savings, and emissions reduction solutions for the locomotive and heavy-duty truck industries. For instance, we have more than 21,000 truck APUs in the field with more than 100 million hours of operations. We are both a pioneering firm in APUs and the benchmark for many other manufacturers.

We of Teleflex Power Systems are ready now to support our customers in the rail industry with an innovative and proven solution that dramatically reduces the idling of their locomotives.

Focus on eco-friendliness
The Teleflex EcoTrans APU is a great addition to any locomotive. It eliminates long hours of idling while providing support functions such as battery charging, engine warming, power management, and “household” power. Another great benefit of our APU is that, unlike the traditional stop-start systems, it is a true “four-season” solution to idle reduction. Our studies, coupled with field data, demonstrate that our APU reduces carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas) and nitrogen dioxide emissions by up to 91 percent compared to when the main engine idles. The dramatic reductions in emissions, coupled with fuel savings up to 20,000 gallons per year, can make the APU a very solid investment.

Teleflex Power Systems is proud to help our customers tackle the ever-growing challenges in emissions and fuel costs. In Teleflex, one finds a company with more than 60 years of experience in product innovation and customer satisfaction. Time after time, we have helped our customers solve tough problems. We are proud to participate in the rail industry and to support our current and future customers in meeting the fuel costs and emission challenges they face. For more information about our Auxiliary Power Management Units, please contact us through www.teleflexpower.com.

Bill Kiefer is president and
chief executive officer of
A. Stucki Company.
Look what we've become
From the early days as a side bearing innovator to today’s company that offers total railcar dynamic control solutions, we at A. Stucki Company have changed the way we do business.

Since being founded in 1911 by Arnold Stucki, A. Stucki Company has led the industry in the development and application of railcar dynamic control products. As president and CEO, I am proud to build on such a strong legacy. Recently, we successfully completed a management-led buyout of the railroad products operations of Hansen Inc. with additional financing provided by The Gladstone Companies. The purchase includes A. Stucki Company as well as our two divisions, Independent Draft Gear and American Industries. Our international subsidiaries, Stucki do Brazil, Stucki de Mexico and A. Stucki Rail in the Ukraine, are included as well.

The conclusion of the deal means that A. Stucki Company and subsidiary operations will continue to be led and operated by the current management team. The new ownership, which I am proud to be part of, will continue to exercise complete control over the company’s direction as well as the products and services offered to our worldwide customer base. Additionally, the management team will continue to develop and implement the vision for the company, which is to build upon and enhance our position as a leading supplier of durable, reliable and high-performing products and services in the market. This deal is undoubtedly the most significant in our company’s long history. It is a critical move in our ongoing effort to grow our product offerings and level of service in the railcar industry. Most importantly, this buyout underscores the dedication our employees have to our customers, the industry and the continued success of our company.

Working in tandem
It’s our knowledge and experience in railroad freight car dynamic control that make the real difference. Our success is founded on our exceptional engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance, and research and development programs. And recently, we have expanded American Industries into the Midwest through our acquisition of RJ Rail Services. Today, all of our operations working together give us the advantage over the competition to be the preferred partner for the finest railcar solutions package in the industry.

We promise to continue striving for the highest quality products and services that railroads, railcar builders, repair shops and private car owners demand today, and we are committed to finding more innovative ways of delivering the total solution to meet our customers’ challenges. To our customers and suppliers, I want to assure you that while we continue to grow and integrate our operations, please know that our focus on providing the most comprehensive products and services to meet your current and future needs will not change.

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