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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from GE, Alstom, VHB, UNITRAC, Concrete Jack and Jacobs Associates (June 27)

Alstom's board has unanimously agreed to recommend GE's offer to acquire Alstom's power and grid businesses, according to a GE press release. GE's offer remains unchanged at a $13.5 billion enterprise value and $3.4 billion of net cash. The transaction now will proceed pending Alstom's works councils' consultation, regulatory and shareholder approvals. The deal is expected to close in 2015. Once closed, GE and Alstom would form three joint ventures: the combined grid assets of GE and Alstom; Alstom's off-shore wind and hydro businesses; and Alstom's production and servicing of equipment for nuclear power plants, the development and sales of new nuclear equipment worldwide, and Alstom's steam turbine equipment and service applications in France.

At its 25th Annual Client Conference held June 23-25, GE Transportation announced several new software solutions and services, and recognized seven customers with the Fast Track Award for rail industry software excellence and innovation. GE introduced enhancements to RailConnect™ 360, including new transportation and revenue management systems; revenue management advanced analytics, and ShipperConnect Yard & Transload Management. In addition, GE announced new capabilities for rail-car demurrage management with the acquisition of Demurrage Management Systems Inc. Meanwhile, GE honored customers deemed to be leaders in the rail and rail-shipper industry, including: Ferrocarril y Terminal del Valle de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Ferrovalle); Genesee & Wyoming Inc.'s Portland & Western Railroad; New York & Atlantic Railway; Pan Am Railways; R.J. Corman Railroad Co.; Hi-Crush; and Iron Horse Logistics Services.

VHB's board has elected Michael Carragher to succeed Bob Brustlin as president and chief executive officer. Currently a senior vice president and director of the firm's Southeast region, Carragher will become president in January 2015, and work closely with Brustlin until he takes on the combined role of president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2016, according to a company press release. A VHN co-founder, Brustlin has served in his current role for 15 years. He will continue to serve as chairman.

UNITRAC Railroad Materials Inc. has received the 2013-2014 Supplier of the Year award from the North American Maintenance Railway Club (NAMRC). Selected by NAMRC President Jim Hansen, the award evaluates railroad suppliers on such criteria as club involvement, participation and new member recruitment. UNITRAC was honored June 9 at the NAMRC's annual golf outing.

Concrete Jack, a Virginia-based polyurethane concrete raising company, recently completed a foam jacking repair on a light-rail grade crossing, which saved the client 68 hours of track time and nearly $50,000, according to a company press release.

Jacobs Associates announced Karl Assi, David Corkum, Joel Kantola, Blake Rothfuss, and Kent Winger have been named to the role of principal. Assi was promoted to the position after 20 years in tunneling and structural structural engineering on a range of transportation, water and wastewater projects; Corkum was hired in February, and has more than 35 years of experience in heavy civil and underground construction; Kantola was promoted after more than 25 years working as a program manager, contractor, designer, construction manager and geotechnical engineer on soft ground and hard rock tunnel projects; Rothfuss was promoted after more than 30 years of engineering experience on heavy civil projects; and Winger has more than 25 years of experience in construction dispute resolution, scheduling, and contractor performance analysis consulting services.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/27/2014