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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Wabtec, ARI, Advanced Polymer; also, in memoriam: Gordon Fuller (Aug. 1)


Wireless mesh network provider Rajant has entered a strategic partnership with Wabtec Corp. to "accelerate rail industry innovation," the companies announced yesterday. As part of the agreement, the firms will jointly develop and market Rajant's Kinetic Mesh® wireless network products to rail operators worldwide. In addition, Wabtec has made a minority equity investment in Rajant. The Kinetic Mesh product employs node-to-node capabilities to route data via the best available traffic path and frequency, according to Rajant's website.

Houston-based Strathmore has agreed to sell Advanced Polymer Coatings Inc.'s linings to the North American rail industry. The exclusive distribution agreement will bring new custom linings solutions to the industry, Advanced Polymer Coatings officials said in a press release. As part of the pact, Advanced Polymer Coatings will use its ChemLINE® coatings technology to formulate and produce specialty rail linings that will be privately labeled to Strathmore and sold in Strathmore's family of coatings.

American Railcar Industries Inc. (ARI) reported second-quarter 2018 net income of $9.2 million, or 48 cents per share, versus $10.9 million, or 57 cents per share, during Q2 in 2017. The decrease was driven largely by an impairment loss recorded on some of ARI's leased rail cars, according to a company press release. Total revenue in the quarter rose 34 percent to $146.5 million from $109 million a year ago. The increase was due mostly to higher revenue in the manufacturing segment and slight increases in the rail-car leasing and rail-car services segments. However, there's still an oversupply in the marketplace of most rail-car types, including covered hoppers and tanks, which continues to drive a "competitive pricing environment," said ARI President and CEO John O'Bryan.

TRAC Intermodal President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Lovetro retired July 31 and was succeed by Jennifer Polli. Lovetro led the company since 2011 and solidified it as a "leading provider" of intermodal equipment and services, TRAC officials said in a press release. Polli, who joined TRAC in 2012, has been instrumental in executing the company's strategic objectives, they said. She previously served as VP of private equity at Fortress Investment Group.

PTSI Transportation board member Gordon Fuller died July 24. He was 77. Fuller entered the rail industry in 1964 as an operating management trainee for the New York Central Railroad. He later became vice president-operations at the Central Railroad of New Jersey. Following the Conrail takeover in 1976, Fuller went to Sea-Land to head its intermodal efforts, PTSI officials said in a press release. He joined PTSI's board in 2011 after leaving a job at the Maine Eastern Railroad.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/1/2018