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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

3/5/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from ARINC, Greenbrier, ARI, Siemens Energy and Railpower


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• ARINC Inc. obtained a contract to design and deliver a supervisory control system and communications systems for MTA Long Island Rail Road’s control tower at the Harold Interlocking Complex in Queens, N.Y. — the nation’s busiest commuter-rail switching location, ARINC said. The company will implement a supervisory control system using its Advanced Information Management (AIM®) software platform. AIM will provide new supervisory control, communications and local control systems at the interlocking complex.

• The Greenbrier Cos. is discussing potential modifications to a long-term contract with GE Railcar Services concerning the purchase of 11,900 new tank and covered hopper cars over an eight-year period. GE recently informed Greenbrier it plans to reduce, delay or cancel car deliveries under the contract. The 11,900 cars represent about 75 percent of Greenbrier’s manufacturing backlog. Deliveries to GE began in December 2008 and about 500 cars under the contract are scheduled for delivery in fiscal-year 2009, with the balance to be delivered during the next seven fiscal years. In February, Greenbrier announced workforce reductions — which could affect up to 1,000 employees — plans to consolidate new car manufacturing production in North America and other cost-cutting measures. Additional and “significant” workforce reductions and cost-cutting measures will be necessary if production under the GE contract is substantially modified, Greenbrier said.

• American Railcar Industries Inc. (ARI) reported fourth-quarter revenue of $203 million and net earnings of $7.6 million compared with $161.9 million and $7.9 million, respectively, in fourth-quarter 2007. The company shipped 1,870 rail cars during the quarter vs. 1,590 cars in the same 2007 period. For the full year, ARI generated revenue of $808.8 million and registered net earnings of $31.4 million compared with $698.1 million and $37.3 million, respectively, in 2007. The company shipped 7,965 cars vs. 7,055 cars in 2007, representing a 13 percent increase. On Dec. 31, ARI’s backlog stood at 4,243 cars.

• For the first time, Siemens Energy is transporting wind turbine blades via rail from a blade factory to a wind farm. The company recently began moving 42 148-foot-long, 12-ton blades from a new rail yard at its Fort Madison, Iowa, plant to a wind farm in Sherman County, Ore., where the blades will be installed on towers, then shipped to Pasco, Wash. Siemens Energy expects to complete the rail move by week’s end. Rail enables the company to transport blades more efficiently across the country, Siemens Energy said. The company is supplying 141 wind turbines — each with three blades — to the wind farm.

• Railpower Technologies Corp. announced that a Quebec Superior Court issued an order providing the locomotive builder an additional period of protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. The initial order has been extended until April 7, during which time creditors and other third parties will continue to be denied from taking steps against Railpower. The extension will provide the company more time to develop a comprehensive business restructuring plan for consideration by creditors and the superior court. Railpower remains under supervision by court-appointed monitor Ernst & Young Inc.


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