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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Updates from Progress Rail, Bombardier, HDR, Pacer, Timken and Parsons Brinckerhoff


• Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary Progress Rail Services Corp. has opened a locomotive manufacturing plant in Muncie, Ind. The new facility is the first locomotive assembly plant to open in the United States in many years, Progress Rail officials said in a prepared statement. Within the past year, Progress Rail also has announced plans to establish two additional locomotive assembly plants: one in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the other in Sahagun, Mexico.

• Bombardier Transportation has received the Tell Award in Switzerland for the “most significant technology project” in recognition of the Bombardier TWINDEXX Swiss Express intercity trains and Bombardier MITRAC propulsion and control system, according to a press release. The Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion award recognizes the “most significant investment projects from the Americas region into Switzerland during the previous year,” Bombardier officials said.

• HDR has obtained a task order contract from the San Bernardino Association of Governments to provide preliminary engineering/environmental services for a new nine-mile passenger-rail line, or the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, according to a press release. The project will extend rail service from San Bernardino to Redlands, Calif. The award represents an amendment to a previous contract with HDR. The work will include delivering the Redlands’ first-mile Metrolink extension and alternative analysis phase of the project. The amendment adds an 18-month schedule and associated services to prepare preliminary engineering and environmental clearance.

• Pacer International Inc. reported that third-quarter net income from operations more than tripled to $11.4 million compared with third-quarter 2010. Revenue increased 3 percent to $375.8 million and earnings rose to 19 cents per share versus 3 cents per share a year earlier. “[We] are now debt-free for the first time in our history as a public company, and have cash to reinvest back into our business to drive future earnings,” said Chief Financial Officer John Hafferty in a prepared statement. In 2011’s first nine months, income from operations jumped to $22.8 million compared with $7.1 million, revenue dipped to $1.12 billion compared with $1.13 billion, and earnings soared to 37 cents per share compared with 6 cents per share in the year-ago period.

• The Timken Co. reported that third-quarter income from continuing operations rose 55 percent to $111 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, net of non-controlling interest, compared with $71.4 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales for the quarter increased 25 percent to $1.3 billion. “The improvement reflects higher volume, favorable mix, surcharges and pricing, which more than offset increased raw-material costs, as well as higher selling and administrative costs,” Timken officials said in a prepared statement. In the first nine months of 2011, income from continuing operations jumped 91 percent to $345.2 million, or $3.48 per diluted share. Net sales climbed 31 percent to $3.9 billion.

• Parsons Brinckerhoff has named Hasan Moinuddin a principal technical specialist in Los Angeles and Tunde Balvanyos a supervising planner in San Diego. Moinuddin will be responsible for the design of tunnel and station ventilation systems, and plumbing and fire protection engineering for the Westside Subway extension and Regional Connector projects in Los Angeles. Balvanyos will be responsible for managing and supporting the planning and development of rail, transit, highway, bicycle and pedestrian projects on behalf of the San Diego Association of Governments, California Department of Transportation, and other regional and local agencies.