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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Alstom, Columbus Steel Castings, Colo Railroad Builders, U.S. Steel/Transtar, Wabtec, Global Rail Industries and Hazarsolve


• Alstom Transport won a $159 million contract from the Montpellier, France's area council to supply 23 Citadis trainsets, which will run on the city's third tram line. Alstom already has supplied equipment for tram lines 1 and 2 that entered service in 2000 and 2006, respectively. The contract covers three conditional phases involving 12 additional trainsets and the maintenance of the 23 trainsets for 10 years. To enter service in 2012, the third Montpellier tram line will feature 32 stations.

• Columbus Steel Castings has named Tom Santacroce president and chief executive officer to succeed Joe Harden, who recently announced his retirement after serving Columbus Steel and its predecessor Buckeye Steel Castings for 32 years. Santacroce most recently was general manager of Jorgensen Forge Co., a sister company to Columbus Steel in the Constellation Enterprise organization.

• Colo Railroad Builders has named Steve Scharnweber vice president of business development. He has more than 30 years of short-line maintenance-of-way and operations experience, most recently as VP and chief engineer of Cedar American Rail Holdings, which operated the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern and Iowa, Chicago & Eastern railroads. Founded in 1979, Colo Railroad Builders provides railroad construction and maintenance services to Class Is, regionals and short lines, as well industrial customers.

• U.S. Steel Corp. has named Thomas Kelly managing director-transportation and president of transportation subsidiary Transtar Inc. to succeed John Pranaitis, who will retire after serving the company for 39 years. Kelly most recently was general manager-blast furnace engineering and technology for U.S. Steel. He previously served the company as plant manager-primary operations, president and general director of U.S. Steel Serbia, and vice president and managing director of U.S. Steel Kosice. Transtar operates the Birmingham Southern Railroad Co., Delray Connecting Railroad Co., Fairfield Southern Co., Gary Railway Co., The Lake Terminal Railroad Co., McKeesport Connecting Railroad Co., Mobile River Terminal, Texas & Northern Railway Co., Union Railroad Co. and Warrior & Gulf Navigation L.L.C.

• Wabtec Corp. has elected Brian Hehir, Michael Howell, Gary Valade and Nickolas Vande Steeg to serve three-year terms on its board.

• Global Railway Industries Ltd. announced first-quarter financial results, which were impacted by lower freight traffic as railroads continue to place more locomotives and rail cars in storage. The company posted  total revenue of $14.7 million, down from first-quarter 2008's $15.5 million, and a net loss of $1.5 million, compared with net income of $642,000 in the same 2008 period. Meanwhile, Global Railway announced election results for six board seats. President and Chief Executive Officer Terry McManaman and Heenan Blaikie lawyer Jean Clerk have been re-elected. The four new board members are: Jacques Cote, a former Canadian Pacific senior executive; Laurie Bennett, a retired audit partner of Ernst & Young L.L.P.; Alan Sellery. managing director and co-founder of Ironbridge Equity Partners; and Thomas Dea. a partner in West Face Capital Inc.

• Salco Products Inc. division Hazarsolve has launched its own Web site at Hazarsolve previously shared online information on Salco's Web site at Hazarsolve's product line includes rail, barge and truck products, such as hose and hose fittings, loading/unloading fittings, dip tubes, rupture disks and surge protectors. The company also provides various transloading products.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/14/2009