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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from GE, RMI, Wabtec, RailComm, Nomad Digital and Miner Enterprises


• GE Transportation and Transnet Ltd. recently marked the introduction of the first two of 100 new AC diesel-electric locomotives for South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail. In December, Transnet ordered 100 3,300-horsepower C30ACi locomotives from GE. All units, which will feature electronic fuel-injection systems and dynamic braking, are slated to enter revenue service by first-quarter 2013.

• Rail information services provider RMI announced that Kansas City Southern selected its OASIS Terminal Operating System for the Class I’s intermodal network in the United States and Mexico. OASIS is a decision-support software tool designed to help automate intermodal terminal operations. OASIS already is deployed at KCS intermodal facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and Dallas, and “rapid adoption” is under way across the railroad’s entire intermodal network, RMI officials said in a prepared statement. KCS also will use RMI’s OASIS Vantage Business Intelligence interface to help manage intermodal operations and reporting in real time.

• Wabtec Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings per diluted share of 64 cents, up 28 percent, and sales of $393 million, up 10 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2009 figures. For the full year, sales reached $1.5 billion vs. $1.4 billion in 2009 and earnings per diluted share climbed to $2.57 vs. $2.41 in the year-ago period. As of Dec. 31, Wabtec’s multi-year backlog totaled $1.1 billion, up 14 percent compared with the year-end 2009 total and the highest level in more than two years. In 2011, the company expects to increase revenue about 10 percent vs. 2010, with higher sales driven by the execution of growth strategies and continuing recovery of the freight-rail market, Wabtec officials said in a prepared statement.

• RailComm entered into a multi-year maintenance and support agreement with Ferrosur S.A. de C.V. for a computerized Track Warrant Control system. RailComm’s Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) dark territory train-control system has been in service at Ferrosur since 2006. The DOC software-based control system is designed to support various integrated solutions for indication, control, access and distribution of operational data across a corporate enterprise, according to RailComm.

• Amtrak contracted Nomad Digital to deploy AmtrakConnect® Wi-Fi service nationwide. Nomad previously provided Wi-Fi systems and network operations for Acela Express between Boston and Washington, D.C., and Amtrak Cascades in the Pacific Northwest. Amtrak plans to install AmtrakConnect on Northeast Corridor trains and more West Coast trains by year’s end. Wi-Fi equipment installations are slated to begin soon on more than 450 Amfleet rail cars.

• Miner Enterprises Inc. released an updated version of its installation and inspection guide, which is available in English and Spanish. Version 5.0 contains information related to the installation and inspection of Miner’s TecsPak® constant-contact side bearings, draft gears and brake beams. The side bearings portion includes new information on shelf life, lubrication, set-up height, field or yard inspections, and shop or repair track inspections. The guide is available online and no longer will be printed, according to Miner.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/23/2011