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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Updates from Stella-Jones, Bombardier, RailComm, Transplace, Simmons, Hatch Mott MacDonald and SYSTRA


• Yesterday, Stella-Jones Inc. announced it signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Thompson Industries Inc. for a total of $41 million. The transaction is expected to close in December, subject to customary closing conditions, according to a press release. Stella-Jones plans to finance the acquisition through existing credit facilities. Both Stella-Jones and Thompson Industries supply wood ties to the rail industry. “The acquisition of Thompson Industries would further enhance Stella-Jones’ product and service offering to the North American railroad industry,” said Stella-Jones President and Chief Executive Officer Brian McManus.

• Bombardier Transportation has obtained a four-year, $11 million contract from PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe SA to supply rail traffic control equipment and spare parts for the Polish rail network. Bombardier will provide its Bombardier EBI Track train detection and axle counter units, EBI Switch point machine, EBI Light signal, EBI Gate level crossing systems and relays, as well as spare parts for previously installed EBI Lock 850 and 950 computer based interlocking and EBI Gate systems. The equipment will be delivered to PKP from 2012 through 2015.

• RailComm has obtained a contract to upgrade its existing yard system at BNSF Railway Co.’s Corwith mechanical facility in Chicago with the Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) System, which is used to remotely control derails. The system will include a workstation that will enable a user to monitor device status and review operation logs of all system activity, RailComm officials said in a press release.

• Transplace and Celtic International have merged to form a North American logistics service provider through a transaction that closed yesterday, according to a joint press release. The combined company will have a “major presence in transportation management, logistics technology, intermodal services and truck brokerage,” the press release states. Celtic will become a stand-alone division of Transplace. Tom Sanderson, Transplace’s chief executive officer, will lead the combined company as CEO. Richard Hyland will continue to serve as president of Celtic and will join Transplace’s board.

• Simmons Machine Tool Corp., which is part of the Niles-Simmons Hegenscheidt Group, has obtained a contract from Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. in Australia. The team of Simmons, Hegenscheidt and Andrew Engineering will design, manufacture and install a facility for rail cars used to transport iron ore from Fortescue’s mines in Australia’s Pilbara region to Port Hedland. Under the contract, Simmons will be responsible for the wheel shop maintenance facility, according to a press release.

• Hatch Mott MacDonald has named Nathan Higgins senior vice president and Canadian practice leader of rail and transit. Higgins will be responsible for rail and transit projects across Canada. He has more than 23 years of experience in planning, survey, design, inspection and construction of transportation projects. He also serves on various committees of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association and the American Public Transportation Association.

• SYSTRA has named Percival Buxhoeveden assistant chief engineer and director of systems. He has more than 26 years of experience in the development of new client relationships, market and business development expansion, as well as in the leadership of large teams. His expertise will enhance SYSTRA’s continued national growth while directing the systems department, company officials said in a press release. Prior to joining SYSTRA, Buxhoeveden was a principal-in-charge and signal designer at a large engineering consulting firm where he worked on projects for MTA Long Island Rail Road, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and New Jersey Transit.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/13/2011