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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Trimble, Ferrellgas, Presto Geosystems, Trinity, Trackmobile and STV (Feb. 22)

Swedish train operator will use Trimble's R2M real-time remote diagnostic system.
Photo – Trimble Corp.


Swedish train operator SJ has selected the Trimble® R2M real-time remote diagnostic system, along with the Trimble C2M component condition monitoring system. The systems are designed to improve real-time status monitoring and analytics capabilities by accessing up-to-date fleet status, Trimble officials said in a press release. The technologies also can help reduce costs and improve safety. Trimble R2M processes diagnostic data from rail vehicles to provide a comprehensive view of overall fleet status, including specific and potential vehicle faults. The C2M system, on the other hand, analyzes and detects anomalies with particular component behavior and uses the information to identify impacts on maintenance and service, according to Trimble.

Ferrellgas Partners LP announced the sale of Bridger Rail Shipping LLC's tank cars to an undisclosed buyer. Bridger Rail Shipping is a subsidiary of Bridger Logistics, which is a subsidiary of Ferrellgas. The transaction consisted of 1,072 rail cars, including 300 DOT-117 units and 772 CPC-1232 units. Most of the CPC-1232s are in storage and incurring storage fees, while all of the DOT-117s are leased to a third-party under a multiyear contract. The cash purchase was valued at $47 million, according to a Ferrellgas press release. Proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce outstanding debt on Ferrellgas' secured credit facility. Ferrellgas officials decided to exit the rail-car business due to changes in the market, said James Ferrell, interim chief executive officer and president.

Presto Geosystems has released results from track research aimed at quantifying the reinforcement benefits of its GEOWEB-confined ballast compared to unconfined ballast. Conducted by Oregon State University and the University of Kansas, the research demonstrated that the product reduces ballast movement and settlement. The results also showed that GEOWEB can decrease subgrade pressures and increases stability and rail performance, Presto Geosystems officials said in a press release.

Trinity Industries Inc. reported 2017 revenue of $3.7 billion, down from $4.6 billion in 2016. The company logged 2017 net income of $702.5 million, or $4.62 earnings per share, compared with $343.6 million, or $2.25 a share, in the previous year. The earnings per share figure includes a one-time $3.06 per share benefit related to the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Trinity officials said in a press release. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the company reported 18,395 rail-car deliveries, with a rail group backlog of $2.2 billion. At 2016's end, Trinity logged 27,240 rail-car deliveries and a backlog of $3 billion.

Trackmobile last week announced the winners of its distributor excellence awards for 2017. The company named Wiese USA distributor of the year, while Gordon Russel Ltd. was named market leader. The President's Award went to Whiting Canada, and the Trackmobile Parts Champion honor was given to Andress Engineering Associates. Trackmobile provides equipment for railroad material handling through rail-car movement and switching. The company's distributor network includes more than 200 locations and factory-trained mobile field service technicians in North America.

STV has hired Ted Lachus as vice president of the transportation and infrastructure division. Lachus will focus on Midwest expansion and manage planning, studies and design for major transportation projects. STV is managing design and construction of several municipal and state transportation projects in the region, including a 50-mile section of Illinois' high-speed rail program. Before joining STV, Lachus oversaw transportation projects in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin for a local consultancy firm.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/22/2018