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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Greenbrier, Railpower, Vossloh, Alstom, and RMI


Here are the latest domestic and international developments among the rail industry supplier and service provider set:

• American Honda Motor Co. has fully deployed a fleet of 400 Auto-Max® rail cars produced by The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. American Honda now will ship 82 percent of its Honda and Acura automobiles across the country via rail — the highest rail-shipping rate of any automaker, the company said. Each multi-level Auto-Max car can accommodate up to 22 vehicles. Earlier this year, American Honda spent $7 million to redesign rail infrastructure and add rail capacity at its automobile plants in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio.

• Patriot Rail Corp. subsidiary Sacramento Valley Railroad announced plans to test Railpower Technologies Corp.'s environmentally friendly RP20BD locomotive this month in the Sacramento, Calif., area. The 2,000-horsepower RP20BD will be on loan to the railroad for two weeks. The three-engine GenSet switcher features a common DC buss design to reduce emissions from 70 percent to 90 percent and cut fuel usage from 30 percent to 50 percent compared with a conventional switcher. The RP20BD is classified as an ultra-low-emitting locomotive by the California Air Resource Board.

• Vossloh AG is determining whether to sell its infrastructure services unit to Eurovia S.A., a worldwide infrastructure services firm. Eurovia recently submitted a takeover bid to Vossloh for the unit, which builds rail lines, installs overhead lines and maintains track for rail, tram and LRV customers. Vossloh's executive and advisory boards will consider the takeover bid. If accepted, the deal would require approval by regulatory authorities.

• A consortium comprising Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation and Areva TA announced the Paris Métro subway system placed MF2000 trainsets in service on Line 2 June 12. Under a July 2001 a contract between French operator RATP and the consortium, the Métro will place 45 of the new trainsets in service on Line 2 between now and January 2010 at a rate of 20 trains annually. Alstom will head the trainset replacement, and supply and assemble major components at its French plants.

• Rail/transportation information services provider RMI announced Vice President of Business Development Karl Knauff will retire June 30 after serving the company for more than a decade. Prior to joining RMI in 1997, Knauff was managing executive of IBM's Global Rail Solutions business. He previously served as enterprise marketing manager for CSX Transportation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/19/2008