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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Wabtec, RailComm, Alstom, Maiers Transport & Warehouse and Blackmer


• Wabtec Corp. reported fourth-quarter sales of $405 million, up 11 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2007’s total. Sales were driven by a strong performance from the transit group, Wabtec said. In addition, earnings rose 10 percent year over year to 64 cents per diluted share. For the full year, earnings jumped 20 percent to $2.67 per diluted share while sales increased 16 percent to a record $1.58 billion and income from operations rose 13.5 percent to $213 million.

• RailComm Inc. announced that Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I) incorporated its track warrant control functionality into an existing Domain Operations Controller System (DOC®). During the past two years, LS&I has used RailComm’s DOC control system to dispatch trains within CTC territory. The addition of the track warrant control module will enable the railroad to dispatch trains in both CTC and dark territory from the same control desk. LS&I’s system also includes electronic train sheets, which are maintained by the system for three years in accordance with Federal Railroad Administration regulations.

• Alstom reached a three-year agreement with three French labor unions. The company employs about 14,700 people in France, including 8,400 Alstom Transport workers. The agreement includes provisions on job changes, skills development, training, mentoring and retirement. Alstom will offer an end-of-career work time management system that provides soon-to-retire workers gradual work reductions and time savings account settlements. An employee can cash in their time savings account at the end of the work reduction period.

• Earlier this month, transload operator Maiers Transport & Warehouse (MTW) joined the BNSF Premier Transload Network. MTW provides transloading services for BNSF and Northern Lines Railway in St. Cloud, Minn. The “premier” classification is given to less than 25 percent of the more than 450 transloaders that conduct business with BNSF. As a BNSF Premier Transload Network operator, MTW will work with the Class I and Northern Lines to increase network velocity and fluidity, and improve service consistency and reliability.

• Blackmer has appointed Jim Pope director of finance. He will be responsible for the accounting, information technology and distributor contact administration/export control departments. Since he joined Blackmer 17 years ago, Pope has held several key positions. Blackmer provides rotary vane pump and reciprocating compressor products for transferring liquids and gasses, including reciprocating compressors for rail-car unloading and vapor recovery applications.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/24/2009