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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier updates from Alstom, FreightCar America, Greenbrier, L.B. Foster and GEI Consultants (Nov. 2)


Alstom Transport has obtained two fleet modernization contracts, worth a combined $220 million, from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The first covers full modernization of 86 articulated light-rail vehicles operating on MBTA's Green Line. The cars will be outfitted with new interior surfaces, and new propulsion and climate control systems. The second contract involves refitting 74 bi-level commuter-rail cars. Work will include overhaul of the brake system components, installation of new operator control screens, passenger information displays, interior seating, signage and upgraded door control mechanisms. Also, Alstom announced it has completed the turnkey design, installation and commissioning of electrification and rail control systems for Mexico City's new Metro Line 12.

FreightCar America Inc. reported third-quarter net income of $4.8 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, compared with a third-quarter 2011 net loss of $2.4 million, or 20 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter was $160.6 million compared with $130.1 million a year ago. The company delivered 1,628 rail cars during the quarter, of which 998 were new cars and 620 were rebuilt cars, which was in line with the company's previously stated reduced expectations for 2012's second half. By comparison, the company delivered 1,515 cars in third-quarter 2011.

The Greenbrier Cos. reported net earnings of $7.4 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $443.5 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2012. For the entire fiscal year, the company reported record net earnings of $58.7 million, a nine-fold increase over FY2011, and revenue of $1.81 billion, a 45 percent year-over-year increase and also a record. New rail-car deliveries for the year totaled a record 15,000 units versus 9,400 units in FY2011. During the fourth quarter, Greenbrier received orders for 2,900 new cars. Its rail-car manufacturing backlog was 10,700 units, with an estimated value of $1.14 billion, as of Aug. 31.

L.B. Foster Co. reported that third-quarter net sales increased 7.6 percent to $170.3 million compared with the year-ago period, due to a 24.2 percent increase in rail segment sales and a 52.9 percent improvement in tubular segment sales, according to a company press release. Income from continuing operations was $8.5 million, or 83 cents per diluted share, compared with $9.4 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, a year ago. This year's third-quarter results included a $3 million pre-tax warranty charge, as the company revised estimates to fulfill certain concrete tie warranty claims. The rail segment sales increase was driven by strong orders in the company's new rail and concrete tie businesses, L.B. Foster officials said. The company recognized $4.3 million of sales from the elevated transit system in Honolulu.

GEI Consultants Inc. has expanded its freight-rail services practice, bolstered by a growing team of experts, according to a company press release. New senior freight-rail experts who recently joined GEI include Benjamin Genes, based in New England, and Jonathan Murer, based in Minnesota. Genes is a vice president, senior consultant and transportation specialist with 31 years of experience in environmental engineering. Murer has 23 years of environmental consulting experience serving industrial clients, and has worked with freight-rail clients for more than 21 years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/2/2012