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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from GE, First Union Rail, Koppers, Bombardier, FreightCar America and NRC (May 6)


GE Transportation has been selected by Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) to supply fully automated driverless train control and signaling solutions for the Thomson (TSL) and Eastern Region (ERL) Lines based on its Tempo™ portfolio. GE will provide the Tempo™ Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) and Computer-Based Interlocking (CBI) systems as part of a contract that calls for designing, manufacturing, installing, testing and commissioning the signaling system and platform screen doors for both TSL and ERL lines. The contract is valued at $126 million. The project will be rolled out in three phases starting in 2019, according to a company press release.

First Union Rail, a wholly owned Wells Fargo company, has acquired Long Haul Holding Corp., the parent of Helm Financial Corp., a San Francisco-based rail-car and locomotive leasing company. The acquisition is a "logical fit to our existing rail equipment leasing business and reflects our ongoing commitment to grow our fleet of equipment," First Union Rail officials said in a press release. Helm provides rail-car and locomotive operating leases in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Koppers Holding Inc.'s board elected Leroy Ball, vice president and chief financial officer, to the newly created position of chief operating officer on an interim basis until a successor is named, the company announced in a press release. Ball has served as VP and CFO of Koppers Holdings Inc. and Koppers Inc. since August 2010.

Bombardier Transportation has launched crewing services for TransLink's West Coast Express commuter-rail system in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bombardier will provide crews for the West Coast Express Bombardier bi-level commuter-rail fleet of 44 vehicles.

FreightCar America Inc. reported a net loss of $6.9 million, or 58 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter compared with a net loss of $2.6 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, in first-quarter 2013. Revenue fell to $56 million compared with $87.6 million in the year-ago period. The company delivered 753 rail cars versus 1,073 cars in first-quarter 2013.  "The severe winter weather … had a significant negative impact on our business, causing supply disruptions and production inefficiencies. These interruptions, along with production line changeovers, resulted in rail-car deliveries 30 percent lower than we had planned for the first quarter," said FreightCar America Chief Executive Officer Joe McNeely in a press release.

The NRC Rail Construction and Maintenance Equipment Auction held May 1 resulted in a record $1 million of equipment auctions to on-site and online bidders, according to a National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) press release. The auction was held at Quality Track Equipment's facility in Austinburg, Ohio. Quality Track is a division of Delta Railroad Construction. Consignors sold about 250 pieces of rail construction equipment to dozens of bidders from throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Among the donated equipment this year were a backhoe from Balfour Beatty Rail and a hi-rail trailer and light plant tower from Delta Railroad Construction. Proceeds from the donations will go to the NRC Safety and Education Training program.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/6/2014