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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from GATX, Trinity Rail, Crowley Maritime, Keolis and Parsons Brinckerhoff (Nov. 4)

GATX Corp. announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase up to 8,950 newly built rail cars over a four-year period, beginning in March 2016. GATX expects to order both tank and freight cars, although the majority of the order will be for tank cars. The cars will be manufactured by Trinity Rail Group L.L.C. GATX's existing 12,500-car, five-year supply agreement with Trinity ends in mid-2016. "We have placed more than 10,500 cars from that order on long-term leases with our customers. Placing this new order with North America's premier rail-car manufacturer allows us to continue to meet our customers' needs with competitively priced rail cars for years to come," said Brian Kenney, GATX’s president and chief executive officer in a press release.

The opening of Florida East Coast Railway's new intermodal container transfer facility next to Crowley Maritime Corp.'s terminal at Port Everglades is providing Crowley customers with more efficient cargo-handling options and faster deliveries now that containers no longer need to be trucked via interstate highways to and from an off-site rail terminal, Crowley officials said in a press release. Additionally, the strategic location of the 43-acre, near-dock facility enables Crowley — a transportation and logistics service provider — to handle bigger, heavier break-bulk and out-of-gauge cargo more efficiently and cost effectively because of the shorter distance to and from the rail facility, they said.

The Metropolitan Council of Bordeaux in France recently renewed Keolis' contract to operate the city's public transport network for eight years. Since 2009, Keolis has managed the Bordeaux network, which serves 28 municipalities and 720,000 people. The newly delegated public service contract involves all transport modes, will start Jan. 1 and is projected to generate about $2 billion. As part of the contract, Keolis commits to increasing ridership by 34 percent and extending the network by 7 percent via new light-rail lines.

Matthew Verhoff has been named a principal technical specialist for rail operations and planning in the Austin, Texas, office of Parsons Brinckerhoff. Verhoff will manage rail operations and planning projects. He has more than 20 years of rail industry experience, most recently as director of rail operations for Capital Metro in Austin. His other previous stints included manager of freight operations for CN; a railroad operation and service strategies consultant for Parsons Brinckerhoff; and management positions in the transportation and service planning departments of MTA Long Island Rail Road.

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More News from 11/4/2014