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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Updates from Caterpillar, Bombardier, Stella-Jones, Global Rail Systems, RailComm and Vossloh

Here’s a few more rail supply industry developments to digest at week’s end:

• Caterpillar Inc. has acquired Lovat Inc., which manufactures tunnel boring machines used to construct metro, railroad, highway and other tunnels. The deal enables Caterpillar to enter the tunnel boring machine market. Lovat President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Lovat will join Caterpillar's Global Mining Division and be responsible for the tunnel boring business.

• Bombardier Transportation won a contract from Swedish rail authority Banverket (BV) to develop European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) onboard equipment as part of a ERTMS roll out in Scandinavia. Under an initial $47 million order, Bombardier will equip up to 220 vehicles with ERTMS systems. The contract is part of a $312 million framework agreement for the development of BOMBARDIER EBI Cab 2000 ETCS onboard systems on all new and retrofitted vehicles in Sweden and Norway. Bombardier Transportation also announced its order intake in the last fiscal year totaled $11.3 billion and order backlog stood at $30.9 billion on Jan. 31. Fiscal-year revenue totaled $7.8 billion, up 18 percent.

• Stella-Jones Inc. has completed its acquisition of wood tie and treated wood product supplier Burke-Parsons-Bowlby Corp. (BPB) for $33 million. The deal was structured as a merger between Stella-Jones and BPB, which operates wood treating plants in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

• Global Rail Systems has installed its new model CWL-7 grade crossing warning system in Illinois. Designed as a cost-effective solar solution for remote applications, the system is available as a gated option.

• Iowa Northern Railway has placed into revenue service a RailComm Inc. computerized Track Warrant Control system. The Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) train-control system can be accessed through a Web-enabled Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model. The system features a command, control, communications and information server-based platform designed to support a wide variety of integrated solutions for indication, control, access and distribution of critical operational data across a corporate enterprise.

• Vossloh AG has reported that fiscal-year 2007 sales jumped 21.4 percent to $987 million and group earnings more than tripled to $57 million compared with totals from FY2006 — the global rail infrastructure and vehicle product provider’s best-ever annual results. The rail infrastructure division generated sales of $611 million, up 24 percent, with Vossloh Fastening Systems contributing $159 million, up 30 percent year over year. The motive power and components division boosted sales 17 percent to $376 million with locomotive sales increasing 15 percent to $273 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/4/2008