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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

May 7: Updates from ARS, Lilee Systems, Koppers, Stella-Jones and CTLGroup


• All Railroad Services Corp. (ARS) announced the expansion of its maintenance facility at Florida East Coast Railway’s Bowden Yard. On April 1, the facility was certified to perform Federal Railroad Administration annual rail gear inspections and repairs, certifications for boom and bucket trucks, and truck and equipment repairs, according to an ARS press release. A mobile truck service will provide on-site inspections and repairs for railroads, short lines and contractors, said ARS Co-President Vinnie Vaccarello.

• Lilee Systems has achieved Red Hat hardware certification for its WMS-2000 Wayside Messaging Server, making it the first wayside server with internal 3G, GPS and IP KVM options to achieve the certification, according to a Lilee Systems press release. The certification complements the company’s technology with the positive train control (PTC) architecture being defined by interoperable train control committees, Lilee Systems officials said. Lilee Systems’ WMS-2000 series of wayside messaging servers are designed to provide an interoperable communications gateway platform for PTC systems.

• Koppers Holdings Inc. reported that first-quarter consolidated sales rose 12 percent to $380.9 million from $341.5 million in first-quarter 2011. Sales for railroad and utility products increased 7 percent to $131.4 million. Net income attributable to Koppers was $15.6 million, or 75 cents per diluted share, compared with $8.9 million, or 43 cents per share, in first-quarter 2011. Increases in net income and earnings were due to higher prices for carbon pitch, phthalic anhydride and railroad crossties, as well as higher volumes and prices for carbon black feedstock, Koppers officials said in a prepared statement. Another contributing factor was a reduction in the effective tax rate from 36 percent to 31 percent.

• Stella-Jones Inc.’s first-quarter net income rose 76.5 percent to $15 million, or 94 cents per diluted share, compared with $8.5 million, or 53 cents per share, in first-quarter 2011. Sales rose 21.7 percent to $158.8 million and operating income climbed to $24.1 million versus $14.4 million a year ago. All results were reported in Canadian dollars. “Robust demand for Stella-Jones’ core railway tie and utility pole products led to significant increases in sales and operating profitability in the first quarter of 2012,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Brian McManus in a prepared statement.

• CTLGroup recently named James Lane director and Giuseppe Sammartino, senior associate of CTLGroup’s Structural & Transportation Laboratory Services. Lane has 21 years of consulting experience in materials engineering and failure analysis, with a focus on metallurgy and corrosion. Prior to joining CTLGroup, he was a principal engineer with a leading metallurgical engineering consulting group. Sammartino has more than 12 years of experience in the railroad industry, specializing in freight car component design and analysis. Most recently, he served as a senior engineer at Standard Car Truck.

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