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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier updates from RR Mergers, Siemens, Axion, Alternative Motive Power, L.B. Foster, Parsons Brinckerhoff (Aug. 24)

•    RR Mergers & Acquisitions announced the sale of railroad contracting firm Bayou City Rail to a Chicago-based rail holding company. Based in Houston, Bayou City Rail provides rail contracting services to Class I, short-line and private industrial rail clients throughout the U.S. Gulf Coast. Vice President Harlan Bench will continue to operate Bayou City Rail and maintain the company’s relationships with its clients, including Galveston Railroad, Kinder-Morgan, Martin Marietta, Texas International Terminal and Trinity Industries, according to a RR Mergers & Acquisitions press release. The rail holding company is led by John Edwards, a former president of Fitzgerald Railcar Services.

•    Siemens has obtained a $125.6 million contract from Czech State Railways Ceske Drahy (CD) to supply seven seven-car Railjet trains. The contract includes an option for an additional eight eight-car trains by mid-2013. Slated for delivery starting in 2014, the trains are designed for international high-speed rail operation. The technical systems are based on intercity vehicles marketed by Siemens under the name Viaggio Comfort. Each train has a total 446 seats.

•    Axion International Holdings Inc. announced its first purchase order from one of the world’s largest mining companies. Axion will supply its recycled ECOTRAX™ ties, consisting of long-length ties measuring up to 16.5 feet. The purchase was the result of Axion’s regional distribution agreement signed in 2011. The ties, which are being shipped to one of the mining company’s Australian locations, were selected due to the mining firm’s challenges in finding long-length hardwood ties to satisfy both above and underground tracks supporting heavier axle loads, according to an Axion press release.

•    Alternative Motive Power Systems (AMPS) has selected 16 Corvus Energy industrial use lithium-ion AT6500-48V batteries for a prototype hybrid switching locomotive it’s developing. The prototype is being developed with a New Technology Research and Development grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, AMPS officials said in a prepared statement. They anticipate the hybrid GenSet package will reduce nitrous oxide emissions by up to 98 percent and achieve fuels savings of 65 percent. The testing phase will be carried out in early 2013. When completed, the locomotive will be operated in Texas to move rail yard rolling stock owned by Railserve Inc.

•    L.B. Foster Co. appointed John Kasel senior vice president of rail business. He will be responsible for the performance and success of the company's rail-related businesses, which will be combined under his leadership, company officials said in a prepared statement. Kasel also will retain responsibility for the rail operations now reporting to him. He has been responsible for L.B. Foster's operations and manufacturing since 2003.  In 2005, he was promoted to SVP of operations and manufacturing. Prior to joining L.B. Foster, he held general manager stints at Nortek Inc. and Invensys.

•    Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed Paul Skoutelas director of the firm’s Transit Rail Technical Excellence Center. He will provide strategic direction with a focus on growing the firm’s transit and rail business, according to a company press release. Skoutelas will continue to serve as the firm’s transit and rail market leader, advising clients on transit issues within the Americas. A senior vice president, he joined the firm after serving as chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Allegheny County and the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/24/2012