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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Vossloh, RailComm, Unit Rail, Western Extrusions and Global Railway


• Vossloh AG obtained a contract from Swedish rail infrastructure manager Trafikverket to supply an in-tie actuation system for switches and grade crossings over a 10-year period. The contract includes an option for five additional years. The system, which is “fully integrated” into the tie, is a customized version of an Easyswitch actuation system previously developed by Vossloh Cogifer, according to a prepared statement.

• RailComm won a contract from HNTB Corp. and Kiewit-Western to design and provide materials for a yard automation system for Amtrak at Chicago’s Union Station. To be operational by year’s end, the system will be controlled by RailComm’s Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) server-based central control platform. Amtrak operators in two towers will use the automated system to control more than 100 GE Transportation System Hydra-Switches, two diesel generators and dozens of power derail devices, blue flag indicators and switch heaters. RailComm’s RADiANT™ data radios will establish communication between the office system and a network of controlled devices.

• Unit Rail, the rail fastening division of Amsted Rail, has named John Stout director of sales. He will be responsible for sales and marketing activities in North America for both Unit Rail and Advanced Track Products fasteners. Stout most recently was vice president of STX Railroad Construction. He previously was VP of sales for Vossloh AG, national sales manager for L.B. Foster Co., and project manager for Regional Transit Partners and Balfour Beatty Rail (formerly Marta Track Constructors).

• Western Extrusions announced plans to expand aluminum extrusion capability at its Dallas plant by adding a new 14-inch press in second-quarter 2011. The 5,100-ton press will be installed next to an existing 5,000-ton, 14-inch press. Founded in 1979, Western Extrusions provides fabricated aluminum extrusions and replacement parts for rail cars, and fabricated aluminum extrusions for electrified third rails, as well as a range of products for other industries.

• Global Railway Industries Ltd. reported second-quarter revenue of $20 million, up 15.1 percent compared with second-quarter 2009’s total. The company — which provides rail components and services, including maintenance and remanufacturing for locomotives and diesel engines — also earned net income of $498,000 vs. a net loss of $875,000 in the year-ago period. Global Railway continued to benefit from growing transit business, including a locomotive remanufacturing contract with VIA Rail Canada Ltd., but the slow economic recovery negatively impacted the company’s freight-car repair business, said Fausto Levy, Global Railway’s interim president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/13/2010