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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from L.B. Foster, Trinity Industries, Pike Research, Stantec and Gannett Fleming


• L.B. Foster Co. reported third-quarter net income of $6.5 million, a 6 percent increase compared with net income posted during the same 2009 period. The company posted third-quarter net sales of $125.6 million, a 28.3 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2009's total. "Sales and profitability were up across all segments in the third quarter of 2010, and our backlog continued at a substantially higher level than it was a year ago," said President and Chief Executive Officer Stan Hasselbusch in a prepared statement. "While business activity continues to be inconsistent, especially in the industrial and heavy civil markets, we continue to see a moderate strengthening in most of our businesses."

• Two Trinity Industries Inc. subsidiaries — Trinity Industries Leasing Co. (TILC) and Trinity Rail Leasing 2010 L.L.C. — recently closed a rail-car leasing financing deal in the amount of $369.2 million with a coupon of 5.194 percent. Funds received from the transaction, which is secured by rail cars and their operating leases, will be used to pay down a portion of TILC's rail-car leasing warehouse facility; to redeem Trinity Industries' 6.5 percent senior notes due in March 2014; and for "future growth of TILC's fleet," according to a prepared statement. As of June 30, TILC had a lease fleet of about 50,970 rail cars with a utilization rate of 98.7 percent.   

• Hybrid electric locomotive sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4 percent between 2015 and 2020, with global annual unit sales surpassing 100 locomotives by 2020, according to a report issued by Pike Research. The market could achieve a CAGR of 25.4 percent during the same period, with annual unit sales exceeding 170, according to a prepared statement. "Hybrid locomotives will have a strong return on investment, as a result of their ability to use low-cost batteries," said Pike Research Senior Analyst Dave Hurst. "In addition, the market will receive a boost from new diesel locomotive emissions regulations scheduled to go into effect in the European Union in 2014 and in North America in 2015, which will require diesel locomotives to receive substantial changes or exhaust treatments." Rail infrastructure growth and emissions concerns in India and China will drive demand in those markets, as well, Hurst said.

• Stantec recently appointed five specialists to the engineering firm's rail signals group: Len Carey, who has more than 35 years of rail-signal experience, most recently with Alstom Signaling, was named senior signal specialist; Joe Edd, who was a process control engineer at Kodak for about 25 years, was named application specialist; Don Klaver, who has 16 years of signal engineering experience, was named a signals specialist; and Amanda Shapiro and Kelley Yates both were appointed application technicians.

• Gannett Fleming named Robert Radlein as a transit facilities architect and maintenance facilities senior project manager in the engineering firm's West Region. He has more than 40 years of experience in project management, architectural design, specification preparation, construction document production and construction management.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/26/2010