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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail news from Tata Steel, Alstom, Motive Power, Railinc and Gannett Fleming (Nov. 15)

Tata Steel has commissioned a new facility in France's Lorraine region to supply heat-treated, stress-free rail up to 108 meters (118 yards) in length. The longer, heat-treated rail is designed to reduce rail operators' costs associated with more frequent replacement of worn rail, according to a company press release. Last year, the company announced it would invest more than $16 million in the heat treatment plant. The new plant will operate next to an existing heat-treatment line at Tata Steel's Hayange plant.

Yesterday, Alstom unveiled its first Citadis Compact tram at its manufacturing site in La Rochelle, France. The Pays d'Aubagne et de l'Etoile region is the first to have opted for the tram, which is designed to meet the needs of mobility in intermediate-sized cities. The tram is undergoing static and dynamic testing at Alstom's La Rochelle site.

Motive Power & Equipment Solutions Inc. recently completed a 42.5-ton diesel electric locomotive purchased by the Isle of Man's Department of Community, Culture and Leisure for use on the Isle of Man Railway. The MP550-B1 locomotive will be used as a rescue and maintenance support vehicle, and as a backup to the railway's historic steam locomotives.

Railinc Corp. has named Greg Smith assistant vice president of customer experience. He will oversee the customer support, product support and rail industry relations teams. Smith also will lead business direction, product delivery and customer service. Prior to joining the Railinc, he was director of educational services for Manhattan Associates in Atlanta. He has more than 14 years of management experience.

Gannett Fleming Transit & Rail Systems President Michael McNamara has been named to Penn State Altoona's Rail Transportation Engineering Advisory Board. Formed in October, the board aims to nurture the university's new four-year degree program designed to prepare students for careers in railroad management and engineering. It's the first specialized railroad engineering degree program offered in the United States in 50 years, company officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/15/2013