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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from ARL, Wabtec, BSM Technologies, Brandt, QLS Logistic, Husch Blackwell, Voith Turbo and New York Air Brake (Sept. 26)


Icahn Enterprises L.P. (IEP) has entered into an agreement with Chairman Carl Icahn to form a joint venture, American Railcar Leasing L.L.C. (ARL). IEP will own 75 percent of ARL and contribute $737 million in cash and rail-car assets to the joint venture in exchange for a 75 percent ownership interest.

Wabtec Corp. has acquired Longwood Industries Inc., a manufacturer of specialty rubber products for the transportation, oil, gas and industrial markets, with annual sales of $70 million. Wabtec expects the transaction to be accretive in the first year, according to a company press release.

BSM Technologies Inc. has obtained a contract from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to equip vehicles operated by MTA Long Island Rail Road, MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels with the Sentinel FM asset tracking solution. BSM will equip the vehicles with up to 1,420 Sentinel FM units and provide services for five years, with an option to extend the service portion of the contract for five more years. If all options are exercised, the contract is valued at $4.2 million.

Brandt Road Rail Corp. has opened a new parts warehouse in Kansas City, Mo. The warehouse can process orders for a full supply of spare and maintenance parts for BrandtPower Units, OTM Tracker systems and Rail Tools.

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics' affiliate QLS Logistic Services L.L.C. has acquired US Intermodal Inc., an intermodal trucking and drayage business, which will function as the core of a new coast-to-coast agent drayage and brokerage known as US IntermodaLogistics. The new business has locations in Chicago, Norfolk, Va., and New Jersey. Mark Pontarelli will serve as vice president of Agent Partner Solutions for the new business.

Charles Nottingham has joined Husch Blackwell as a partner in the firm's transportation and public policy, regulatory and government affairs teams. Over his 20-year career in government relations, Nottingham has held senior positions in Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and in state government. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed him to a five-year term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB), for which he served as chairman, commissioner and vice chairman. At his previous firm, he advised clients on transportation industry mergers, USDOT and STB regulatory matters, intellectual property protection, congressional investigations, lobbying, and mediation of contract disputes.

Frank Gropengiesser has been named chief executive officer of Voith Turbo's Rail Division, effective Nov. 1. He will succeed Norbert Klapper, who will "leave Voith at his own request," according to a company press release. Gropengiesser has more than 20 years of international management experience and extensive knowledge of the global rail supply industry, company officials said.

Karen Tichenor has been appointed vice president of quality and program management for New York Air Brake (NYAB). She will be responsible for leading initiatives to improve operations and reduce costs. Prior to joining NYAB, Tichenor held various positions at Aquion Energy, Ansaldo STS and Bombardier Transportation, where she oversaw quality, health and safety and business performance programs, according to a company press release.