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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Harsco, Thales, Knorr Bremse, Axion, Siemens, Alstom and Bentley


• Harsco Co. announced two follow-on orders for its Harsco Rail track and maintenance business group valued at more than $15 million. The first order is a follow-on equipment sale in Germany involving a rail grinder. The unit will join a growing fleet of Harsco rail grinders that grind switch and crossing rail surfaces throughout the German railway system. Delivery is scheduled for late 2011. Under the second contract, Harsco will own, operate and maintain equipment on behalf of a U.S. customer. The pact is a five-year renewal of an existing contract.

• Thales, Shanghai Electric Corp. and Shanghai Automation Instrumentation Co. have signed a joint venture agreement that will foster the creation of an urban rail signaling company for the Chinese market. The agreement includes a transfer of technology from Thales to enable the joint venture to design, test and deploy the Thales SelTrac communication-based train control system in China.

• This month, Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems completed preparations for the production of disc brakes and compressors in Voronezh, Russia. The brake equipment assembly facilities were set up in collaboration with OAO Vagonremmash, a Russian Railways subsidiary.

• Composite tie supplier Axion International announced that Perry Jacobson, managing director at Brookstone Partners and Michael Dodd, chief executive officer of 3D Global Solutions, were elected to Axion’s board. Prior to joining Brookstone, Jacobson was a specialist on the New York Stock Exchange. Dodd previously was managing director of the Federal Technology Group of Audio Visual Innovations Inc.

• Siemens AG and Siemens Russia have been contracted by the Russian Railways to supply 16 electric trains for suburban passenger service in central and southern Russia. Production partially will be conducted in Russia.  

• Alstom Transport and Transmashholding have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Railways to develop an AC freight locomotive with an asynchronous traction motor. A prototype of the locomotive is scheduled to be developed in April 2011. The signing of a supply contract is scheduled for fall 2011. The new long-distance AC freight locomotive will enable the Russian Railways to increase efficiency of its traction rolling stock, according to a press release.

• Bentley Systems Inc., a provider of infrastructure software systems, announced the launch of the Bentley Infrastructure Ambassadors Council. Newly appointed ambassadors will engage the global communities of practitioners, constituents and organizations interested in infrastructure opportunities, according to a press release. The ambassadors appointed by Bentley include Norbert Young, former leader of McGraw-Hill Construction; Jim Porter, former chief engineer and vice president of engineering and operations for DuPont; and Patrick McCrory, former mayor of Charlotte, N.C. Young will chair the council.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/23/2010