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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Koppers/Portec Rail/L.B. Foster, Greenbrier and Kinkisharyo


• Koppers Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Koppers Holdings Inc., signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire Portec Rail Products Inc.'s rail joint business product line and related manufacturing facility for an undisclosed purchase price. The transaction is expected to close by year end. Portec Rail's rail joint business is expected to generate $22 million in 2010 revenue, according to a statement issued by L.B. Foster Co., which is in the process of acquiring Portec Rail. "We have worked diligently with the [U.S. Department of Justice] to find an acceptable solution to their objections to our acquisition [of Portec Rail]," said L.B. Foster President and Chief Executive Officer Stan Hasselbusch.

• Today, the Greenbrier Cos. announced that it received orders in November and December for 2,000 new covered hopper cars with an aggregate value of about $135 million. The cars are scheduled to be delivered "principally" in 2011, according to a prepared statement. To support a projected increase in demand, Greenbrier plans to "ramp up" its production rates in January and open an additional production line late in the company's second fiscal quarter, which ends in February 2011.

• Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. announced yesterday that the prototype of its LFX-300 — a hybrid streetcar designed for the North American market — had "arrived" at the Charlotte Area Transit System, according to a prepared statement. Kinkisharyo engineers now will test the streetcar, which is scheduled for a Jan. 21, 2011, official unveiling in Charlotte, N.C. A 100 percent low-floor, dual-powered vehicle, the LFX-300 is propelled either by overhead electric catenary or onboard battery power. It's compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act as well as Buy America and NFPA-130 requirements, according to Kinkisharyo.

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