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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Wabtec, Rockwell Collins, Greenbrier, Urban Engineers, Holland and Road & Rail (May 22)

Wabtec inked a $40 million contract to install a PTC system for Tri-Rail.
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Wabtec Corp. obtained a $40 million contract to design, install, test and commission positive train control (PTC) for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), which operates the Tri-Rail commuter-rail service in the Miami area. Under the contract, Wabtec will provide its Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS®) equipment for 42 locomotives and cab cars, a back-office server, wayside communications and signals, a dispatch system, training, and system integration. Installation is expected to wrap up by 2018's end. SFRTA's PTC system will be fully interoperable with all Class Is' PTC systems, Wabtec officials said in a press release.

Rockwell Collins and BNSF Railway Co. have begun conducting "beyond visual line of sight" test flights with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones. The railroad has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to perform the flights without visual observers. The operation marked the first beyond visual line of sight commercial UAS flights in the continental United States, according to a Rockwell Collins press release. During the 200-mile flights, BNSF controlled its aircraft using Rockwell Collins' control radio data link network deployed throughout the railroad's subdivision in Clovis, N.M. Such flights could help BNSF inspect tracks from afar.

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. and Astra Rail Management GmbH have received all required European regulatory approvals for their planned merger. The transaction is expected to be completed June 1 and will combine all operations of Greenbrier Europe and Astra Rail to create an end-to-end, Europe-based freight rail-car manufacturing, engineering and repair business. With principal operations in Poland and Romania and headquarters in the Netherlands, Greenbrier-Astra Rail will have nearly 4,000 employees and six production facilities across Europe. The companies in October 2016 announced plans to merge.

Urban Engineers has hired Ronald Creswell as a rail and transit systems manager. Most recently, he served as a business center discipline lead at a firm in Walnut Creek, Calif. Creswell has more than 35 years of experience as a systems engineer. He has with a background in systems integration, design support during construction, construction management, and field testing for rail, communications and computer systems. His hiring coincides with the opening of Urban Engineers' office in San Jose, Calif.

Holland LP was one of 15 suppliers to receive TrinityRail's premier supplier award. The honor recognized Holland's improved lead times, new product development and lowered costs, according to a company press release. Holland also supported high demand for TrinityRail's auto rack components and supplied floor track for its box cars.

Road & Rail Services Inc. on June 6 will mark its 30th anniversary. The company's initial service offerings included repairs and inspections on highway trailers, auto racks and box cars. Over the past 30 years, the firm has adapted and expanded its offerings to include automotive handling, transloading of various commodities, and track, rail-car and train services. Road & Rail's first customers included CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway, Emerald Industrial Leasing and Toyota. The company now counts Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and others among its customer base. Since 2008, Road & Rail has received more than 30 service and safety related awards.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/22/2017