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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from MotivePower, Bombardier, TOUAX Rail, Siemens, Harsco, Kelso Technologies, Midland Manufacturing and I.D. Systems


Here are the latest announcements from eight rail industry suppliers and service providers:

• Wabtec Corp. subsidiary MotivePower Inc. won a $95 million order from the Maryland Transit Administration for 26 MPXpress® commuter locomotives. MotivePower will build the locomotives at its Boise, Idaho, plant and deliver the units in 2008 and 2009.

• Augsburg, Germany, transport authority Stadtwerke Augsburg Verkehrs-GmbH has exercised an option in a 2007 Bombardier Transport contract to order an additional 14 FLEXITY Outlook trams. The authority now has ordered a total of 24 of the low-floor trams from Bombardier.

• European rail-car lessor TOUAX Rail reached a frame agreement to purchase 6,000 cars between 2009 and 2012 from European freight-car builder International Railway Systems. The order includes 3,600 intermodal cars (40-, 45- and 60-foot platforms), 1,200 cars for transporting iron and steel, and 1,200 coal hoppers. TOUAX plans to lease the cars to industrial customers, and public and private rail operators in Europe. TOUAX manages a fleet of 5,424 cars and has more than 2,000 cars on order in 2008. The lessor expects its fleet to reach 10,000 cars by 2009.

• Siemens Transportation Systems Inc. plans to install a 1 megawatt solar energy system at its Sacramento, Calif., light-rail manufacturing facility. To be installed by mid- to late October, the photovoltaic system is expected to generate 29.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity over the first 20 years — equal to about 150 average-sized residential solar-panel systems.

• Harsco Corp.'s Minerals & Rail Services and Products Division — which includes Harsco Track Technologies — reported first quarter sales of $192 million, up 18 percent compared with first-quarter 2007's total. Operating income jumped 75 percent to $33.9 million. Harsco continues to note "strong bidding activity" in Harsco Track Technologies' business, the company said.

• Kelso Technologies Inc. won a pressure-relief valve order. The company is preparing to ship 25 valves to a chemical producer with operations along the Gulf Coast of Texas and New Mexico. The transaction was facilitated through Piping & Equipment Inc., one of Kelso's two marketing partners. Kelso provides pressure-relief valves for tank cars.

• Midland Manufacturing named Zack Gorny director of supply chain. He spent the past eight years holding several supply chain positions, including strategic buyer and manager of strategic sourcing for Schindler Elevator. He will be responsible for Midland's purchasing and shipping departments, supplier performance management, and inventory and material cost reduction. An OPW Fluid Transfer Group division, Midland provides tank car safety valves and equipment.

• I.D. Systems Inc. has acquired International Electronics Inc.'s PowerKey industrial vehicle monitoring products division for $500,000. A wireless asset management system provider, I.D. Systems simultaneously launched PowerKeyPLUS™, a wireless product targeted at the entry-level segment of the industrial vehicle management market.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/22/2008