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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Brookville Equipment, RailComm, Nordco, Ansaldo STS USA and Midland Manufacturing

• A CoGeneration™ locomotive from Brookville Equipment Corp. recently was tested during a 30-day trial at the Central California Traction Co.’s (CCTC) Port of Stockton operations. On the CCTC Lodi Line, the unit achieved a 49 percent fuel savings over one of the lines where GP1800 locomotives handled daily train duties on the mainline at 25 mph, said CCTC General Manager Dave Buccolo in a prepared statement issued by Brookville Equipment. On the Port of Stockton line, the locomotive produced 43 percent fuel savings compared with the current SW1500s, he added. Other benefits included higher tractive effort, recycled braking energies and a “substantial reduction in exhaust emissions.”

• RailComm will provide a wireless remote-control yard system at CSX Transportation’s Willard Yard in Ohio. The system will interface with the existing control and communications network; existing field devices and communications will be interfaced to the new central control system. The RailComm DOC® System will provide individual switch control and entrance-exit routing selection to all locations.

• Steve Weber was named vice president of engineering for Nordco Inc., where he will focus on the development of new products. Weber, whose “extensive experience” includes both developing new product lines and maintaining existing ones, most recently held a position in the outdoor power equipment industry, according to a prepared statement.

• Earlier this week, Ansaldo STS USA announced that Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Hill will leave the company Oct. 30 to pursue other opportunities. “Mr. Hill has been with the company for 30 years and has been an important contributor to our organization,” said Ansaldo STS USA President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Calegari in a prepared statement. “The whole Ansaldo STS team recognizes and appreciates the contributions he has made over his years with the company.”

• Jerry Portis, one of the founders of Midland Manufacturing, died Oct. 22. In 1951, Portis teamed with partners John White and Bob Drucker to form the company. During the next 58 years, Midland became a leading manufacturer of valves and fittings for rail tank cars, with Portis assuming the dual roles of lead designer and primary salesman for Midland product lines; in the early days, he’d deliver Midland valves from the trunk of his car. He was an “ever-present contributor at Association of American Railroads Tank Committee meetings, actively serving on AAR task forces and helping write the original manuals for tank-car use and safety,” according to a prepared statement. He also played a prominent role in the creation of the mythical “AAR Appendix G Working Committee,” with the “G” standing for “golf.” Portis was preceded in death by his wife, Helen. He is survived by a daughter and son, and four grandchildren.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/28/2009