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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from CIT, Whitmore Manufacturing, Halcrow, Eta Phi Systems and SynchroNet Intermodal Services

• On Friday, CIT Group Inc. entered into an agreement with Carl Icahn to support the company’s restructuring plan and secured an incremental $1 billion committed line of credit from Icahn Capital L.P. to provide supplemental liquidity. With a $4.5 billion expansion facility unveiled last week and other available sources of liquidity, the line of credit will “further enhance CIT’s liquidity” as the company executes its restructuring plan, according to a prepared statement. CIT’s holdings include full-service rail-car and locomotive lessor CIT Rail.

• The Whitmore Manufacturing Co.’s board recently announced that Jeff Peterson will join the company as president and chief executive officer on Nov. 30. Peterson currently is vice president of Capital Southwest Corp., the principal shareholder of the company; he’s also a member of Whitmore Manufacturing’s board and has “closely followed Whitmore for over eight years,” according to a prepared statement. Peterson replaces Ray Schwertner, who will become Capital Southwest’s vice president of operations. The Whitmore Group, which comprises Whitmore Manufacturing, KATS Coatings®, Horizon Lubricants and Air Sentry®, manufactures specialized lubricants, coatings, sealants and contamination control breathers.

• Stephen Lee recently was named vice president of Halcrow Inc.’s transportation business group. Initially, he’ll focus on Halcrow’s Project Management Oversight Consultant contract with the Federal Transit Administration. Lee has more than 25 years experience in operations management, business development, project management, acquisition assimilation, strategic planning and personnel recruitment and management. He most recently served URS Corp., where he spent the past 11 years as vice president. Prior to that, he served as VP and regional manager at Gannett Fleming.

• Robert Glines recently was named director of business development in Eta Phi Systems Inc.’s Canandaigua, N.Y., office. Glines has 31 years of experience in the “high-tech transit industry,” including senior-level stints with General Railway Signaling, Alstom Signaling, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Gannett Fleming and Rail Transit Systems, according to a prepared statement. Eta Phi Systems is a systems consulting and software development firm specializing in automatic vehicle location, passenger information and communication systems.

• SynchroNet Intermodal Services Inc. (SIS) recently appointed SOX Logistics International as its exclusive Canadian representative for the company’s North American services. SIS designs, manages and executes a Web-based system for ocean carriers, intermodal marketing companies, freight forwarders, leasing companies, truckers and other entities. System offerings include ramp-to-ramp stack train transportation, capacity availability, customized asset management services and online equipment visibility services.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/2/2009