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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from DAPCO Industries/Simmons Machine Tool, Ansaldo STS USA, FreightCar America, RailComm and Vossloh


• DAPCO Industries Inc. and Simmons Machine Tool Corp. signed a marketing agreement to offer DAPCO’s Turnkey Ultrasonic Inspection Systems for use with the Simmons Stanray and Hegenscheidt U2000-400 underfloor wheel profiling machines, as well as other Simons Axle and Wheelset Metrology and Inspection systems.
• Ansaldo STS USA (ASTS USA) appointed Raymond Tasch vice president, business development and sales. He’ll lead all sales and business development activities at ASTA USA. Tasch has 32 years of experience, including executive positions with Trinity Rail, Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. and Niagara Mohawk Energy Inc. He’s also served in various positions at GATX Corp. and Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

• FreightCar America Inc. reported net income of $7 million on revenue of $104.3 million for its second fiscal quarter, which ended June 30. During the same 2008 period, the company generated sales of $141.3 million and posted a net loss of $400,000. For the quarter, net orders for new rail cars totaled 694 units compared with 538 (new orders of 1,438 units minus cancelled orders of 900 units) in the same 2008 period. Deliveries totaled 1,207 units compared with 2,326 units in second-quarter 2008. “The market for new rail cars continues to be very challenging,” said FreightCar America President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Ragot in a prepared statement. “However, we are very pleased with our financial results for the second quarter.” Earlier this summer, FreightCar America announced it had identified “historical accounting errors” in accounts payable that resulted in the understatement of its cumulative net earnings since fourth-quarter 2007. As a result, the company was unable to file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30 on time.

• RailComm expanded its wireless remote control yard system at Union Pacific Railroad’s Davidson Yard in Fort Worth, Texas. The U.S. Department of Transportation had requested the redirection of the hump yard lead tracks to keep traffic flowing while a new highway overpass is being constructed. RailComm’s Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System provides remote control to the redirected switch machines using the existing DOC System servers. A new DOC system workstation was added to the DQ building.

• Hans Vossloh, honorary chairman of Vossloh AG’s Supervisory Board, died Sept. 22. He was 90. The last surviving grandchild of company founder Eduard Vossloh, Hans Vossloh had “operational responsibility” of the company for more than 40 years, playing a “lead role in the transformation from a successful family enterprise to a stock corporation,” according to a prepared statement. In 1986, he was named supervisory board chair, laying the groundwork for the Company’s initial public offering in 1990. He’d served as honorary supervisory board chair since 1994. “Honorary chairman of the supervisory board was more than just a title for Dr. Hans Vossloh — for the members of the supervisory and executive boards, he was a highly esteemed colleague and advisor,” said Vossloh CEO Werner Andree. “We mourn the loss of someone who cared for the people of Vossloh and whose social commitment at the Werdohl headquarters was exemplary for us all.”

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More News from 9/23/2009