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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from GE, Jacobs, Siemens, Greystone and L.B. Foster (Aug. 5)

GE announced yesterday that it will invest $2 billion in facility development, skills training and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018. The company made the announcement in advance of President Barack Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Through partnerships and technology, GE is poised to help increase access, reliability and affordability of core infrastructure throughout the continent, company officials said in a press release. New GE commitments in Africa include $1 billion in railway and power equipment to Angola under a bilateral agreement signed this week between the Export-Import Bank and Angola’s Ministry of Finance to finance infrastructure development projects in the country.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has obtained a contract from the Port Authority of Allegheny County to provide engineering design services for light-rail transit systems. A contract value was not disclosed; however, the agreement is for a "four-year indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity," according to a press release. Jacobs will provide design serves for signal, power, field communication, system integration, startup, and supervisory control and data acquisition systems. In addition, the firm will provide design services for rail and track, operating systems, and operations control center communications systems, as well as light-rail vehicles and value engineering, according to a company press release.

Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) is ordering a nine additional Railjet trains from Siemens, with delivery of the seven-car units planned for December 2016. The order is valued at $194 million. The new units will run on the Vienna-Salzburg western route and be equipped to operate in Italy, being deployed on the route to Venice Final assembly will be completed at Siemens' plant in Vienna, while the bogies will come from the company's plant in Graz, Austria.

Greystone Management Solutions has been selected as the consultant to develop and implement a retail concessions program for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Greystone will help the agency manage the expansion of its concessions, applying best practices to assist with site selection and product mix to develop a request for bids to attract leading public transit retailers to participate in MARTA's new program, according to a company press release.

L.B. Foster Co. reported second-quarter 2014 income from continuing operations of 66 cents per diluted share, up 7 percent from a year ago. Included in the results is a $4.6 million pretax warranty charge related to concrete ties. Sales were $166.8 million, a 11.3 percent increase over second-quarter 2013. Second quarter net sales of $166.8 million rose by $16.9 million , or 11.3 percent, year over year, due to an 18.3 percent increase in rail segment sales and a 14.3 percent increase in tubular segment sales. Gross profit margin was 18.4 percent, 110 basis points lower than the prior year quarter. The decline was due to lower tubular and rail segment margins, partially offset by improved construction segment margins.

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More News from 8/5/2014