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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

March 8: Updates from Wabtec, Kelso, Thales, Michael Baker and Midland; Also, in memorium: James Hornaday Jr.


• Wabtec Corp. has obtained a contract to provide components for 130 new passenger-rail cars being built for Amtrak by CAF USA Inc. The cars are expected to be delivered between 2013 and 2014. Amtrak has an option to purchase an additional 70 cars from CAF. Wabtec will provide braking equipment, door operating systems, sanitation systems, springs, draft gears and HVAC equipment for the base order of 130 cars, and expects to provide the same equipment should Amtrak exercise its option for the additional cars, according to a press release.

• Kelso Technologies Inc. has accelerated production of its Klincher™ (KKS) manway system through the lease of 14,000 square feet in an existing 22,000-square-foot facility in Bonham, Texas. Kelso expects to begin using the area in early April, and will have access to an additional 8,000 square feet of space if necessary. The new space helps move up the company’s production schedule by five months for KKS units in order to meet earlier-than-expected demand from OEM, retrofit and repair customers, company officials said in a prepared statement. Now, plans to build a new production facility may or may not proceed, they said.

• Thales obtained a contract from Hyundai Rotem to install communications-based train control (CBTC) signaling on the extension of the Sin Bundang Line in Seoul, South Korea. Thales installed radio CBTC on the initial line from Gangnam to Jeongja, which entered service in October 2011. The extension will operate from Jeongia to Gwanggyo offering six additional stations.

• Michael Baker Jr. Inc. has appointed Lorna Parkins assistant vice president in the Transportation Planning Group. Parkins manages the planning department of the firm’s Richmond, Va., office, and is technical service manager for planning. She joined the firm in 1998, and specializes in the relationships between transportation, land use and economic development, according to a press release.

• Midland Manufacturing, a division of the OPW Fluid Transfer Group, has launched a redesigned website at

• Wheel Rail Interaction Conference officials recently announced that James “Jim” Hornaday Jr., president of Alpha-Gamma Transform and a longtime supporter of the railroad industry, died on Jan. 23. He was 79. Hornaday spent his career striving to improve rail safety through his consulting work on metal failures, as well as through his involvement with the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and other rail-industry committees, conference officials said. For 11 years, Hornaday worked for CN and Technical Services Laboratory prior to his 18-year stint as president of Alpha-Gamma Transform. Hornaday is survived by his wife, Thelma, two daughters, a son, stepson and four grandchildren.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/8/2012