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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Flagship Rail, VeRail, Alstom, Railinc, CANARAIL, Parsons Brinckerhoff and NRC (Dec. 12)

Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Based Value Strategy today announced the sale of its portfolio company, Flagship Rail Services L.L.C., to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in a transaction valued at $1.1 billion. Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Perella Weinberg acquired Flagship Rail in May 2011. Since then, the company has increased its fleet by more than 50 percent and has an active debt capital market investor base of more than 50 institutions, according to a Perella Weinberg press release.

VeRail Technologies Inc., a developer of dual fuel natural gas locomotives, has partnered with EcoDual Inc., a provider of dual fuel systems to the trucking industry, to pursue "rapidly emerging conversion opportunities" in railroad industry, according to a VeRail press release. "For us, there are three key technology issues that have to be addressed properly in the emerging dual fuel and straight natural gas conversion market: the conversion technology on the engine, the fuel storage technology and the fuel filling technology," said VeRail Chief Executive Officer Peter Roosen.

Alstom, as part of a consortium, has obtained a contract from Rete Ferroviaria Italiana to upgrade the Rome railway intersection, one of Italy's busiest rail points. The project is worth $165.5 million; Alstom Transport's share is $110 million. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2017.

Railinc has upgraded the Car Hire Rate Negotiation Self-Service (CHRNSS) application, enhancing the ability of railroads, car owners and third-party leasing companies to query, view and manage data essential to the negotiation of car hire rates, or the amount of money paid for the use of a rail car, Railinc officials said in a press release. CHRNSS was designed to ease industry participants' car hire rate negotiations. The Railinc-supported application features a bid-and-offer dashboard that reduces the administrative effort required for car hire rate negotiations, and facilitates better matching of lessee needs with available railcars, Railinc officials said.

CANARAIL and its Kabul-based partner Appleton Consulting Inc. have obtained a contract in Afghanistan to carry out an 186-mile railway feasibility study in Northern Afghanistan. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide funding for the study, which is expected to build on conclusions and recommendations in the ADB’s Railway Development Study. The study is being conducted with the objective to extend the now operational Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway.

U.S. Transportation Deputy-Secretary John Porcari announced yesterday he will step down at the end of the month. He has been named senior vice president and national director of strategic consulting at Parsons Brinckerhoff, according to a press release issued by the firm. As head of the firm's strategic consulting group, Porcari will oversee efforts to integrate the firm’s technical expertise with the strategic thinking needed by owners, developers and operators of transportation infrastructure, and establish the foundation for successful program ad project delivery. He will be based in Parsons Brinckerhoff's Washington, D.C., office.

The National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) recently elected Nathan Henderson as the newest member of its board. Henderson is vice president of strategic sales and marketing at RJ Corman Railroad Group. Also, five incumbents were reelected to the board: Stephanie Freeman, president of Coleman Industrial Construction; Jim Hansen, vice president of business freight rail infrastructure at RailWorks Corp.; Norm Jester, vice president at Herzog Contracting Corp.; Jody Sims, business development manager at Stacy and Witbeck; and Mark Snailham, vice president at Balfour Beatty Rail Inc.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/12/2013