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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Updates from Interpipe, RailComm, RailPower and American Motive Power


Developments continue to, well, develop in the rail supply/service provider industry:

• European steel pipe and wheel producer Interpipe obtained new CNC machines from German firm Hegenscheidt-MDF to build a full-profile, automated line to treat and machine rail wheels. Interpipe plans to machine about 100,000 wheels on the line annually.

• RailComm Inc. will provide a wireless remote-control derail system for the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago’s car shop. Power derails will be remotely controlled by two control panels located in the shop. The panels will feature LED indicators to display derail position, and push buttons to apply and remove the derails. RailComm will use its 2.4 GHz spread spectrum RADiANT™ data radios to establish wireless communications networks to link the derail and control panels.

• RailPower Technologies Corp. unveiled its fourth-quarter and year-end 2007 financial results yesterday. The company posted record income of $95.8 million because it completed the execution of its largest-ever order: 91 locomotives for Union Pacific Railroad. However, RailPower recorded a net loss for the year of $69.6 million due to the recall of the Green Goat® series of yard switching locomotives, high overhead costs and the strong Canadian dollar. Operating expenses decreased 7.4 percent to $27.5 million compared with 2006’s $29.7 million. Meanwhile, the company didn’t collect any revenue in the fourth quarter, as there were no new deliveries. Quarterly operating expenses rose 5 percent to $7.3 million compared with $6.9 million in fourth-quarter 2006.

• MISCOR Group Ltd. subsidiary American Motive Power (AMP) obtained a $6 million contract to remanufacture five freight locomotives for Australian construction and services company Laing O’Rourke. AMP will install state-of-the-art microprocessors on the locomotives to improve operating performance and reduce maintenance costs. In addition, the locomotives will be retrofitted to handle the desert conditions of Saudi Arabia, where the locomotives later this year will transport materials, equipment and workers as part of a new rail system currently under construction.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/26/2008