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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Herzog, ERS Industries, RailComm, Michael Baker Jr. Inc., Thales, Ansaldo STS, Vossloh and Hirschmann Automation


• Herzog Cos. Inc. announced its founder and President William Herzog died March 6 in Platte City, Mo., according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s “Views and News.” He was 88. Herzog founded the company — which now provides various transit- and freight-rail services, including contracting and construction — in 1969. He also held or helped develop numerous patents, including aggregate usage processes, and railroad and golf equipment.

• ERS Industries Inc. has appointed Jeffrey Schmarje president and chief executive officer to succeed Robert Rude, who retired after serving the company for 32 years. Schmarje will continue to serve as president and CEO of Ebenezer RailCar Services Inc. for the foreseeable future, ERS Industries said. The company also named Paul O’Shell executive vice president to succeed William Scott, who is retiring after a 29-year career with ERS Industries. O’Shell also will retain his position as president and CEO of wholly owned subsidiary North American Equipment Sales (Canada) Ltd. Finally, ERS Industries named Anthony Hargreaves president of subsidiary North American Equipment Sales Co. Inc. ERS Industries provides sales, manufacturing, manufacturers’ representation and other services for the rail car, MOW equipment and locomotive crane sectors.

• RailComm Inc. will provide a wireless remote-control derail system for Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co.’s RIP Track Facility. A customized local control panel, located within the shop, will provide wireless remote control to the derails. The panel features a keypad for advanced security and logging. All control panel operations are recorded and stored on a wirelessly linked PC workstation. The workstation enables supervisors, managers and other authorized personnel to review operation logs and manage the system security.

• Michael Baker Jr. Inc. obtained a $4 million, 60-month engineering contract from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Public Transportation to oversee capital improvement projects undertaken by Amtrak along the Keystone Corridor. The contract covers projects along the corridor extending from the Harrisburg, Pa., station to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Anticipated assignments include track installation; rehabilitation/repair of various bridges; buildings; culverts; communication and signal upgrades; and electric traction upgrades of power generating stations. Michael Baker will provide project management, construction monitoring, engineering, planning analysis and reporting services.

• Thales won a contract to improve an existing signaling system for Portugal's Metro do Porto. The contract calls for supplying, commissioning, implementing and maintaining an electronic signaling system for Gifões Shunting Yard. Thales will provide its electronic interlocking Locktrac 6172 PMI system.

• Ansaldo STS obtained a $282 million order from Taipei’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems to supply electro-mechanical equipment for the Taipei Metro. Ansaldo STS will provide an integrated turnkey system for electro-mechanical installations and AnsaldoBreda will supply rolling stock for a 10-mile line featuring 14 stations, a depot, 17 vehicles, driverless technology and communications-based train control. Work is expected to begin by 2015’s end.

• Vossloh España won a $164 million contract from Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat Valenciana, a suburban rail operator in Valencia, Spain, to provide 22 metro trains. The four-car trains, which will enter service in 2010, will feature seating for 116 riders and accommodate more than 450 passengers.

• Hirschmann Automation and Control has named Laguna Crane & Field Service and Universal Crane premier dealers for the state of Texas. Both companies are full-service dealers that will carry Hirschmann Automation’s entire line of PAT and Krueger load moment indicators and indicating devices for the retrofit crane market.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/12/2009