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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Lilee, Greenbrier, Janam, Xplore, Ansaldo and RSI (May 25)


Lilee Systems announced that its systems have been adopted by five U.S. Class Is. Over the past three years, the company has added at least one Class I to its customer base annually, Lilee officials said in a press release. Lilee's products include machine-to-machine communications (M2M) hardware and software solutions to connect thousands of signaling and communications components, including trackside, onboard and back office. The company's M2M system "continuously communicates" critical information for positive train control systems across wireless and wired networks, Lilee officials said.

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. yesterday announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 19.5 percent ownership stake in Brazil-based Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro for $10 million. The Brazilian company is a manufacturer of castings and components for rail cars and other heavy equipment. The company was owned by Amsted Rail Co. Inc. and lochpe-Maxion S.A. prior to Greenbrier's investment. Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro will use Greenbrier's investment to pay down outstanding debt and position the company for future growth, according to a Greenbrier press release. The investment is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Greenbrier's 2016 fiscal year.

Janam Technologies LLC's XM2-RFID for Rail mobile computer was recommended for Buckeye Mountain's Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) Quick Read application. Buckeye Mountain develops, deploys and manages mobile technology for the rail industry. The company selected Janam's product because of its size, battery life, tag reading performance and computing power, Janama officials said in a press release.

Xplore Technologies Corp. obtained a $1 million order from a U.S. railroad for 120 additional Xplore Bobcat tablet computers. The continued deployment and additional orders for the tablets is aimed at helping railroad conductors safely stay connected and up to date with scheduling and cargo data, Xplore Technologies officials said in a press release. The unnamed railroad chose the Bobcat tablets for their IP65 rating and extended 14-hour battery life, according to the release.

Ansaldo STS' board has appointed Andrew Barr chief executive officer and general manager. He previously served as deputy managing director, chief operating officer and board member of Hitachi Rail Europe and Agility Trains, according to the Ansaldo's website. From 2005 through 2011, Barr served as head of maintenance delivery in the Hitachi Group. In March 2011, he was named senior vice president-head of projects, operations and maintenance. Barr started his career in 1990 with London Underground Ltd.

Union Pacific Railroad Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2016 Rail Expo and Technical Conference hosted by the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) and Coordinated Mechanical Associations. The event will take place Oct. 2-4 in Omaha, Neb., which is the location of UP's headquarters. Fritz will speak Oct. 3 and provide "insights on navigating the challenging business environment the rail industry faces today," said RSI President Thomas Simpson in a press release.