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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from AECOM, URS, Greenbrier, Watco, Bechtel, Wilson & Co., Ballast Tools and Travelliance (July 21)

AECOM Technology Corp. and URS Corp. announced a definitive agreement under which AECOM will acquire all outstanding shares of URS for a combination of cash and stock valued at $4 billion, or $56.31 per URS share. Including the assumption of URS debt, the total enterprise value of the transaction is $6 billion. The combined company will be a leading, fully integrated infrastructure and federal services engineering firm with more than 95,000 employees in 150 countries, according to an AECOM press release.

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. and Watco Cos. L.L.C. have completed the formation of a joint rail-car repair venture called GBW Railcar Services L.L.C. GBW owns and operates the combined network of 38 rail-car repair, refurbishment and maintenance shops of Greenbrier and Watco. The 50-50 joint venture creates the largest independent car repair shop network in North America, according to the companies.

Bechtel and Network Rail recently completed a massive expansion of Reading station — one of the busiest train stations outside London — on schedule and within budget, according to Bechtel. The work was carried out over four years as a major part of the $1.5 billion Reading Station redevelopment program. The track layout outside the  station was improved to ease congestion, while the station’s capacity was doubled so that it can serve up to 30 million passengers a year, which is forecast by 2030, Bechtel officials said in a press release. Queen Elizabeth formally opened the new station last week.

Kenneth Hancock has been appointed chairman of Wilson & Co. Inc. Engineers & Architects. He also serves as manager of the firm's rail and energy services division. Hancock has 30 years of experience in mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, and trackwork engineering design and construction management services. He joined Wilson in 1985.

Ballast Tools Equipment (BTE) recently launched to help potential customers research MOW equipment attachment options. The site is designed to enable users to quickly browse options by machine or a specific attachment. Selecting a certain machine, a BTE CAT 450 for example, also brings up in-depth information on all BTE maintenance-of-way attachments available for that machine, BTE officials said in a press release.

Amtrak selected Travelliance, a full-service accommodations and transportation administration company specializing in crew and employee travel, to provide lodging and transportation services to Amtrak employees.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/21/2014