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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from National Steel Car, Interfleet/ Walkerwarren, Gradall, RAIL.ONE and Peab


• Following several weeks of contract negotiations, unionized employees at National Steel Car Ltd.’s Hamilton, Ontario, plant launched a strike at midnight on April 5. Canada's only rail-car builder, National Steel Car has struggled to remain competitive in world markets following the “precipitous decline” in new freight-car demand the past three years and must “take further dramatic steps” to reduce manufacturing costs, the company said. National Steel Car, which currently has no firm orders, was seeking a 25 percent reduction in workers’ total wage and benefit package. During the past 18 months, North American rail-car builders have issued thousands of layoffs and closed 10 plants, National Steel Car said.

• Rail consulting firms Interfleet Technology and Walkerwarren Associates are helping the United Kingdom’s NI Railways acquire a fleet of 20 three-car Class 4000 DMUs from CAF. The companies previously helped the railroad purchase 23 three-car Class 3000 DMUs. Interfleet Technology and Walkerwarren will provide commercial and technical assistance for all stages of the vehicle procurement, including contract award, design, manufacturing, testing, commissioning and maintenance. The first Class 4000 units are scheduled to be delivered in February 2011; all units are expected to enter service by 2013.

• Gradall Industries Inc. has launched a new Web site at The site serves as a corporate Internet home base for Gradall and Vacall product groups. Gradall Industries provides excavator products as well as Vacall brand sweepers, sewer cleaners and other vacuum products. The Web site offers a brief history of the company, career information, and a portal to individual sites for Gradall excavators and Vacall machines.

• RAIL.ONE Group has won a contract to provide track systems for a new tram line in Scotland, which will be constructed in three phases. For the first section that will connect the northern suburbs of Edinburgh and the city’s airport, RAIL.ONE will provide RHEDA CITY track with various track-covering materials, in addition to vegetated track. RAIL.ONE also is responsible for planning the track system, which involves ballasted and ballastless track. In addition, RAIL.ONE will provide its RHEDA CITY track for a new tram line in Andalusia, Spain, and a tram project in Warsaw, Poland.

• Construction and civil engineering firm Peab won a contract from BanaVägiVäst to build a double-track bypass north of Gothenburg, Sweden. The project calls for building a 1.5-mile stretch of track and a station. Work will begin this month and conclude in spring 2011.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/6/2009