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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Chicago Freight Car Leasing, Ansaldo, Salco Products, Carillion, Wabtec, Hub Group and Knorr-Bremse


• Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co. (CFCL) has named Shad Peterson chief operating officer. Most recently chief executive officer and formerly president of Union Leasing, CFCL's vehicle fleet management subsidiary, Peterson will retain his CEO position at Union Leasing. He also will retain the positions of president for Mississippi Railcar L.L.C. and vice president of Hoosier Railcar Inc., both of which are independent family-owned businesses that provide rail-car repair services to private car owners, shippers and railroads. Prior to joining Union Leasing, Peterson was senior VP and managing director of sales and operations for Greenwich Technology Partners. He also spent 12 years within the professional consulting industry providing planning and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies.

• Ansaldo STS USA obtained a $9.2 million contract to provide a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system as part of its alliance agreement with Zhejiang Zheda INSIGMA Group Company Ltd. in China. The project calls for a two-phase design and implementation of a CBTC signaling system for the Xi'an Metro Line 2, a 16.3-mile extension of the city's metro system. To completely enter service by December, 2012, the Line 2 project will include 21 passenger stations, 22 trains, an operations control center, depot with test track, maintenance center and training center. Ansaldo STS will provide system design, components and vital safety software.

• Salco Products Inc.'s Reflective Clearance Marker has been approved for use by a Class I, the company announced. The marker is designed to help prevent clearance point/crossover fouling accidents by improving visibility. Clearance point/crossover fouling accidents are caused by limited or lack of proper clearance in rail-car interchange, typically at night or in low visibility, Salco Products said. The markers, which have been tested in extreme conditions, feature highly effective reflective material, according to the company.

• Carillion plc won a $131 million contract from Network Rail to upgrade the London Overground's rail network between South Acton and Stratford/Barking — including connections with the new East London Railway — in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. Carillion will be responsible for civil engineering and the design/construction of track, overhead lines and power supply. Known as the North London Railway Infrastructure Project, the work is part of a $2 billion upgrade of the London Overground railway, which is jointly funded by Network Rail, Transport for London and the Olympic Delivery Authority.

• Wabtec Corp. reported first-quarter sales of $378 million, a slight drop compared with first-quarter 2008 as higher Transit Group sales partially offset lower Freight Group sales. Income from operations increased 4 percent to $55.7 million and earnings per diluted share rose 3 percent to 68 cents.

• Intermodal marketing company Hub Group Inc. reported first-quarter revenue of $352 million, down 17 percent compared with first-quarter 2008. Intermodal revenue declined 19 percent to $246 million primarily because volume fell 5 percent. Truck brokerage revenue decreased 24 percent to $68 million and logistics revenue dropped 18 percent to $38 million.

• Knorr-Bremse won a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the "Innovation" category for developing the EP2002 brake-control system. Presented annually to mark Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, the awards are the most prestigious for companies in the United Kingdom, Knorr-Bremse said. Launched in 2004, the EP2002 is a brake-control valve designed for metros and multiple units. The system combines electronic and mechanical components into a single mechatronic unit. So far, the systems have been installed in more than 7,000 metro cars worldwide, including cars used by metro systems in London, Bangkok Manila and China.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/23/2009