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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Alstom, TTX, RailComm, MATECH, L.B. Foster and MHF Logistical Solutions


• Alstom won two orders from Réseau Ferré de France for the Rhine-Rhone high-speed line. An Alstom-led consortium will conduct preliminary studies, complete signaling work and supply signaling equipment for the line’s 87-mile eastern branch. Alstom also will supply a new-generation computerized interlocking control unit for Dijon-Perrigny station. In addition, Alstom won a Design Observeur award from French agency APCI for the design of the fourth-generation AGV high-speed train and announced the Lausanne, Switzerland, metro operator has commissioned a new 14-station line. Alstom supplied rolling stock, an URBALIS signaling system, and an onboard video surveillance and passenger information system, and completed electrification work for the line.

• TTX Co. has promoted Sharon Harmsworth from assistant vice president of engineering and research to VP of equipment. She succeeds Robert Pokorski, who left the company to pursue other opportunities. Harmsworth will be responsible for the research and development of new cars and components, and lead TTX’s nationwide network of repair facilities. She previously served Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. as VP of engineering and program management.

• RailComm Inc. will provide a wireless remote-control yard system at CSX Transportation’s Erwin Terminal in Tennessee. RailComm will furnish three local control panels to remotely control 31 switches. The company’s Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) system will be configured to control all switches individually, as well as provide eNtrance eXit (NX) routing functionality. RailComm’s 2.4 GHz RADiANT™ data radios will provide a wireless communications network to link the office and control panels with the field locations.

• MATECH Corp. has completed an inspection of a Union Pacific Railroad bridge in Nebraska using its Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS) System, which is designed to detect cracks in structural members in a single inspection. The inspection data enables bridge owners to prioritize repairs and personnel, and prevent future problems by detecting structural member fatigue. Performed in September, the UP bridge inspection identified dormant and active cracks.

• L.B. Foster Co. announced plans to repurchase up to $15 million worth of its common shares until Dec. 31, 2010. The latest repurchase plan is in addition to a $25 million authorization announced in May, under which the company purchased common stock totaling $24.8 million.

• MHF Logistical Solutions’ Trucking & Drayage Division has opened a terminal in Chicago near surrounding rail terminals and local highways. The facility is the third MHF has opened this year, following terminals in Jacksonville, Fla., and North Bergen, N.J. The company plans to open other terminals in Atlanta, southern California and Worcester, Mass.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2008