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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Rocla, Jacobs Engineering, rMetrix, Stantec, Caterpillar and NRC (Jan. 4)


Vossloh has completed its acquisition of Rocla Concrete Tie Inc., the company announced today. The contract for the acquisition was signed early last month with an expected purchase price of $117 million, according to Vossloh. The acquisition will help strengthen Vossloh's position in the U.S. market, said Vossloh AG Chief Executive Officer Hans Schabert in a press release.

New Jersey Transit has selected Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to provide design and general engineering services for the agency's $577 million "microgrid" project. The project will implement a microgrid capable of providing reliable power for critical transit infrastructure supporting NJ Transit's rail systems and other Northeast Corridor (NEC) operators. The microgrid will be designed to supply power during critical times when the regional electric grid may be compromised due to weather or other events, Jacobs officials said in a press release. Design components will include a natural gas-fired power plant and associated substations, transmission and distribution lines to substations that electrify tracks, and operating controls for portions of the NJ Transit and NEC systems.

Nevada Railroad Materials Inc. has chosen the rMetrix® ultraportable ride performance assessment system for performing ride quality monitoring services. The rMetrix system incorporates GPS and accelerometer sensors to assess ride quality, comfort and safety, company officials said in a press release. The system allows organizations to analyze and correlate ride data over time and geography to determine data trends.

The Valley Metro Rail board last month approved a contract with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. for design services for the planned Tempe Streetcar. The company previously worked on the design for the first 20 miles of Valley Metro's light-rail system, as well as other streetcar projects across the country, agency officials said in a press release. Design of the 3-mile Tempe Streetcar is slated to be completed this year, with construction beginning later in the year. The system is expected to open in 2020.

Caterpillar's board has appointed Tom Pellette group president of energy and transportation. He succeeds Jim Umpleby, who became chief executive officer of Caterpillar on Monday. Pellette joined the company's executive office leading construction industries in 2015. In addition, Caterpillar's board named Bob De Lange group president of construction industries and Billy Ainsworth senior vice president and strategic adviser to the company's executive office. De Lange has served Caterpillar for 23 years, while Ainsworth joined the company a decade ago when it acquired Progress Rail Services.

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) has elected three new members to its board: Dave Bergstrom, vice president of rail construction at Ragnar Benson LLC; Danny Brown, railroad development manager at V&H Inc.; and Kevin Riddett, president and chief executive officer of RailWorks Corp. Riddett recently spoke to Progressive Railroading for the magazine's Outlook 2017 coverage. In addition, NRC re-elected two incumbent board members: Nate Henderson, chief commercial officer of R. J. Corman Railroad Group; and Jody Sims, business development manager at Stacy and Witbeck Inc.