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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Unit Rail, Caterpillar/Progress Rail, Bombardier, Professional Transportation and Interfleet Technology


• Amsted Rail’s Unit Rail division, which produces rail anchors, has acquired AirBoss Railway Products. Amsted Rail previously announced the acquisition of AirBoss, which supplies concrete-tie fasteners. The transaction will enable Unit Rail to expands its product line to include fasteners for both wood and concrete ties, Amsted Rail said. The acquisition also will streamline the product ordering process for both companies’ customers.

• Caterpillar Inc. announced plans to cut executives’ pay, reduce compensation for management and support staff, and suspend merit pay increases next year, as well as implement an incentive-based voluntary separation program and institute a hiring freeze to lower operating costs. Executive compensation will decrease up to 50 percent while senior managers’ pay will be reduced up to 35 percent and management/support staff salaries will drop up to 15 percent. In addition, Caterpillar subsidiary Progress Rail Services Corp. plans to furlough 71 workers at its rail-car shops in Raceland, Ky.

• Bombardier Transportation’s TRAXX locomotives have received European Community certification for interoperability and safety in rail tunnels — the first locomotive model in the world to receive such certification, the company said. The certification is part of a program aimed at standardizing the technical basis for cross-border rail transport launched by the European Railway Agency. Now, the TRAXX platform conforms to technical specifications for rail vehicles for cross-border transport. To meet the interoperability standard, Bombardier will use special flame-proof materials to provide fire protection in the cab and install redundant drive systems.

• Professional Transportation Inc. (PTI) has announced that, effective Jan. 1, Vice President Bob Tevault will step away from day-to-day operations of the company and assume the newly created position of VP of strategic planning and special projects. He will continue to be part of the senior management team while assisting in the development and execution of PTI’s long-term strategic plan. Founded in 1980, PTI provides ground transportation services for railroad employees.

• International rail consultant Interfleet Technology announced Conor Hennessy has returned to the firm as a principal consultant for the Edinburgh office. He spent the past two years setting up a new services division for Petards. With rail system consulting experience in South Korea, Greece, Russia and the United Kingdom, Hennessy will help support Interfleet’s continued business growth in the U.K., especially in Scotland, the firm said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/23/2008