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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Motive Power, Smart Software, Bombardier, Alstom, FreightCar America and Hanson (Aug. 7)


Motive Power & Equipment Solutions Inc. (MP&ES) recently rebuilt an ultra-heavy capacity transfer car for the final leg of a journey to move the world's largest gas turbine. Weighing in at 866,000 pounds, the turbine traveled 6,000 miles from Belfort, France, to Greenville, S.C., by truck, sea and rail, requiring specialty transport equipment for every stage of its journey, according to an MP&ES press release. The heavy-duty transfer car is a four-truck, 16-axle, 450-ton-capacity rail car that has been employed for years, MP&ES officials said. The company was called in to inspect and assess the car to ensure it could still operate safely at maximum capacity, they said.

Metro Transit has purchased Smart Software Inc.'s SmartForecasts® solution to improve the planning and purchasing of service parts for rail and bus operations. The solution is designed to enable users to determine the proper amount of inventory to carry for all parts, company officials said in a press release. The company stocks 24,000 parts that support over 1,000 vehicles.

Bombardier Transportation has won Good Design awards for its Australian tram projects in Melbourne and Gold Coast. The Melbourne tram, based on the Bombardier Flexity Swift platform, and the Flexity 2 tram for the Gold Coast in Australia each were awarded a Good Design Award in the automotive and transport category. The Good Design Award is Australia's longest standing national design award and promotion program, according to a Bombardier press release.

Alstom has launched an LTE (4G) pilot for the metro market to demonstrate the performance of a multi-services broadband radio network. This pilot will use Huawei’s LTE technology following the memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies in April. Alstom and Huawei are now ready to test the new equipment on tracks at Alstom’s Valenciennes site in France. Huawei will provide the LTE network while Alstom will provide the train and LTE-compliant onboard equipment.

FreightCar America Inc. reported second-quarter revenue of $139.7 million and net income of $1.6 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with $47 million in revenue and a net loss of $3.4 million in the same 2013 period. "I am pleased with the progress we made in the second quarter," said Chief Executive Officer Joe McNeely in a press release. "Deliveries, revenue and net income were at their highest levels since the third quarter of 2012. In addition, our manufacturing backlog is at its highest quarter-end level since 2006. Our backlog includes over 4,700 non-coal cars, which reflects the significant progress we have made in our product diversification strategy."

Railroad designer Matthew Riechers recently joined Hanson Professional Services Inc. His responsibilities will include feasibility studies and planning, rail evaluation and assessment, rail specification development, and track design, studies, plans and specifications. Riechers previously was an intern at Hanson's Springfield, Ill., headquarters, where he assisted with the layout of a roadway. He also was an intern for Quigg Engineering Inc. in Springfield, where he conducted construction inspections and performed land surveying.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/7/2014