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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Greenbrier, Watco, Union Tank, Hub, Alstom, XL Group and TTX (June 4)


The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. and Watco Cos. L.L.C. today announced they've formed GBW Railcar Services L.L.C., a 50-50 joint venture that will own and operate Greenbrier's and Watco's respective rail-car repair, refurbishment and maintenance businesses. GBW will have the scale to meet the certification and maintenance requirements of the growing North American tank car fleet and expand rail-car repair service offerings for general freight cars, Greenbrier and Watco officials said in a press release. With current combined annual revenue of $325 million and a geographically diverse network, GBW will employ more than 2,100 employees, they said. Recent Greenbrier hire Jim Cowan will serve as GBW's chief executive officer.

Union Tank Car Co.'s (UTLX) patent-pending "Tank Car of Tomorrow" is nearing completion of its second successful year of accelerated field tests, reliably equaling more than five years of normal service, according to a company press release. In June, the trial car will be returned from the Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI), where it is now in its 15th cycle of testing, to UTLX's manufacturing plant in Sheldon, Texas, for intensive inspection according to remaining requirements of the special permit. The car will be tested with multiple non-destructive methods to further prove the design before being restored to operational readiness. The car then will be returned to TTCI's facility in Pueblo, Colo., for final testing.

Hub Group has received LEED® Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its new headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. The LEED rating system pertains to buildings constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

The first of eight Alstom Pendolino ETR 610 trains ordered by Swiss operator SBB in July 2012 left the Savigliano manufacturing plant in Italy on schedule yesterday, according to Alstom. SBB intends to operate the trains on the Gotthard line for the EuroCity trains to Milan from the end of 2014. The new trains will complement the first series of Pendolino ETR 610 currently in service on the Simplon line.

XL Group has hired Aldith Townsend as underwriter in the railroad business, part of XL Group's Global Excess Casualty division. She will be based in New York City and report to Senior Vice President and Railroad Manager Denise DePrimo. Most recently, Townsend served as railroad underwriter at Arch Insurance.

TTX Co. has been named a recipient of the 2014 CIO 100 award by CIO magazine. The 27th annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology, according to a TTX press release. "This award is a testament to the work we've done implementing innovative technology like Actifio's copy data virtualization platform throughout our business," said Bruce Schinelli, TTX's chief information officer.