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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Chicago Freight Car Leasing, GE, Ex-Im Bank, IBM/Alcatel, Crouch Engineering, Kelso and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin


• Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co. subsidiary CF Rail Services has acquired Mobile Railcar Cleaning Co. Located in Waycross, Ga., Mobile Railcar Cleaning now will operate under the name Waycross Railcar. The company provides tank-car and general freight-car cleaning services at a 24-acre facility. Waycross Railcar also provides car running repairs, compliance testing services, and valve replacement and maintenance services. The acquisition is “a strategic step as we look to grow our national footprint, with roots that date back to 1928,” said Chicago Freight Car Leasing Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Shad Peterson in a prepared statement.

• Yesterday, GE Transportation and TULOMSAS, Turkey's locomotive engineering corporation, introduced the first GE PowerHaul locomotive assembled in Turkey from components manufactured at GE's Erie, Pa., plant. The locomotive represents GE’s entry into the United Kingdom and continental European marketplace, as well as strengthens its locomotive portfolio for northern Africa and the Middle East, according to GE. TULOMSAS and GE signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2008 to collaborate on locomotive builds. Under the MOU, GE supplies TULOMSAS with the technology and materials to assemble the PowerHaul series in Turkey for the European, Middle East and North African markets.

• The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved a loan guarantee of more than $100 million that will be used to fund Transnet Ltd.'s purchase of 10 GE model C30ACi locomotives. The bank also approved a preliminary commitment of more than $200 million in financing to enable the South African company to purchase additional locomotives. The financing will support a partnership between GE Transportation, Transnet and Transnet Rail Engineering, according to Ex-Im Bank.

• IBM and Alcatel-Lucent announced they are working with Swiss transportation company Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB) to improve its on-time arrivals and increase customer satisfaction. IBM and Alcatel-Lucent are providing software designed to enable SBB to monitor more than 1,900 miles of track and 800 rail stations through one user interface. The software combines data from track switches, stations and cars gathered from sensors and video at train stations connected by a fiber-optic cable network with 50,000 fixed and 20,000 mobile connections.

• Crouch Engineering has launched a SmartLine™ program for the Federal Railroad Administration’s new bridge compliance requirements. The program is designed to help clients meet the requirements through quick access to data, company officials said in a prepared statement. Already in effect for Class Is, the new FRA bridge rules will take effect for all railroads by September 2012.

• Kelso Technologies Inc. recently presented its Manway Securement System (MSS) to key representatives of the railroad industry and the Federal Railroad Administration in Houston. The system is designed to simplify securement procedures. Kelso has received the necessary Association of American Railroads application number to permit installation of the MSS on railroad tank cars currently in service.

• Vanasse Hangen Brustlin has named Lisa DiTaranti northeast director of transit and rail. A 25-year veteran of the transportation industry, DiTaranti will lead the firm’s transit and rail practice in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where she previously led numerous alternative analyses and planning efforts on large-scale projects.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/1/2011