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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Updates from Alstom, Thales, Progress Rail, Sumitomo, The Andersons and Miner Enterprises


• A Tramlink Nottingham consortium that includes Alstom has obtained a $893 million contract to build and operate two new tram lines in the United Kingdom. The project will expand the existing network by about 11 miles. Alstom’s share of the contract is worth about $460 million, including $157.5 million for maintenance, according to the company.

• Thales has opened the last phase of Mecca’s new 11.5-mile metro line on schedule. The ATO solution is the last stage in a project designed to improve metro performance by allowing a “hands-off” operation by drivers to ensure trains comply with required track speeds and operating conditions, Thales officials said in a prepared statement. Thales provided signaling solutions based on its SelTrac communications-based train control system, fully integrated communications, an operation control center to supervise the line and an automated passenger information system.

• Downer Rail, in partnership with Progress Rail USA, has obtained a contract from TasRail to design and build 17 new PR22L locomotives for the Tasmanian rail network. The first locomotives are expected to start arriving by mid-2013. “Securing a contemporary standardized locomotive fleet will substantially improve the safety, reliability, efficiency and capacity of rail freight services in Tasmania,” said TasRail Chief Executive Officer Damien White in a prepared statement.

• Sumitomo Corp. of America, in conjunction with Nippon Sharyo, obtained a $22 million contract from Metrolinx in Toronto to supply six additional diesel multiple units (DMU) The current contract called for 12 DMUs. The companies will provide middle flat-nose “C-Cars,” which connects both ends of the slanted-nose “A-Cars,” according to Sumitomo. Although Metrolinx will use the additional six cars as middle cars, the C-Cars can be operated individually. The DMUs are new to North America, Sumitomo officials said in a prepared statement.

• The Andersons Inc. has appointed Harold Reed chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1. Reed, who has served the company since 1980, most recently was president of the Grain & Ethanol Group since 2001. He will be responsible for the grain, ethanol, plant nutrients, rail and turf and specialty groups. With his appointment, the company also will separate its grain and ethanol operations into individual business units, prompting the following personnel changes: Dennis Addis will serve as president of the Grain Group; Neill McKinstray will serve as president of the Ethanol Group; and William Wolf will serve as president of the Plant Nutrients Group. In addition, Anne Rex has been named vice president and corporate controller for The Andersons.

• Miner Enterprises Inc. has appointed John Swezey general manager of Powerbrace Corp. He will succeed Mike Weber, who is retiring. Swezey has experience as a project engineer at Chamberlain GARD, vice president of engineering at GATX Corp., and, most recently, VP and chief mechanical officer at CIT Rail. He has led fleet maintenance, new car procurement, supply management, quality assurance, and engineering groups, and has had profit-and-loss responsibility for a $150 million business operation, Miner officials said in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/20/2011