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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Stella-Jones, VTG, Keolis, Thales, Alstom and Parsons Brinckerhoff (May 28)


Stella-Jones Inc. has completed its acquisition of the wood treating facilities of Boatright Railroad Products Inc. located in Montevallo and Clanton, Ala., for a purchase price of $60 million, plus the seller's inventory estimated at $9 million. Stella-Jones financed the transaction through a combination of existing committed revolving credit facility, which has been increased to $450 million, and a five-year unsecured promissory note of $15 million. The plants manufacture, sell and distribute creosote and borate-treated crossties, as well as switch ties, tie plugs and bridge timbers, to railroads and railroad contractors.

VTG is collaborating with Chart Ferox to build Europe's first two prototype tank cars for transporting liquidfied natural gas (LNG). The prototypes will be capable of transporting double the payload volume as compared to an LNG tank container or truck, according to a VTG press release. VTG is responsible for the development and the final completion of the two prototypes, including obtaining the necessary permissions and railway-specific approval.

The British government announced its intention to award the new Thameslink Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise to Govia, a partnership between Keolis and Go Ahead. The seven-year franchise will be the largest in the United Kingdom in passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff. It will serve London and several major regional cities to the south and the north, as well as Gatwick and Luton airports, and the international hub of London St Pancras. Govia will focus on improving passengers’ experience, introducing three new train fleets, increasing capacity and enhancing stations, according to a Keolis press release.

The Egyptian Ministry of Transport and Thales signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of an Egyptian Academy of Transport Science and Technology The partnership will support the development of the rail industry in Egypt. Thales, via its corporate university, will carry out a feasibility study for the academy and propose academic and professional training programs in the field of urban and mainline rail.

Alstom, along with 30 other European companies, has been taking part in the PROTECTRAIL program, which recently concluded after four years of product development. The company demonstrated the ISM module for its Iconis Integrated Control Center. The module is fully integrated into the Iconis supervision software, and is designed for railway operations to counter terrorist attacks, vandalism, malicious acts, armed attacks and other day-to-day operational problems.

Raymond Kenny has been named senior manager for special projects in the Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center of Parsons Brinckerhoff. Kenny is responsible for providing leadership, direction and management of all facets of railroad and transit operations and planning projects. He joined the firm after a 40-year career at MTA Long Island Rail Road, where he most recently served as senior vice president of transportation and facilities planning.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/28/2014