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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier updates from Altus Capital, Trinity, UNITRAC, Alstom, Tognum, CF Rail Services, Darby and IMPulse (May 9)


Investment firm Altus Capital Partners has acquired Rocla Concrete Tie Inc., which manufactures concrete ties. Altus and the company's senior management team made the investment "to support Rocla's continued participation as the U.S. leader in producing concrete ties for freight, transit and high-speed rail requirements, as well as its expansion into select foreign markets," Altus officials said in a press release. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Trinity Industries Inc. has partnered with the Napier Park Rail Car Lease Fund L.L.C. and an additional co-investor to create RIV 2013 Rail Holdings L.L.C., a joint venture that will provide rail-car leasing services in North America, according to a Trinity press release. As part of the joint venture, RIV 2013 will acquire $1 billion worth of rail cars, primarily a combination of new rail cars manufactured by Trinity Rail Group L.L.C. and existing rail cars from Trinity Industries Leasing Co. or one of its subsidiaries. The joint venture will enable Trinity to grow its leasing platform and maintain its core relationship with customers, and reduce the capital investment required to grow the lease fleet, Trinity officials said.

UNITRAC Railroad Materials Inc. has obtained a $2.9 million, multi-year contract from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to supply switch points, stock rails and closure rails.

Alstom has obtained a $78.9 million contract from AKN Eisenbahn AG to supply 14 Coradia Lint regional trains to operate in northern Germany, connecting the cities of Hamburg, Elmshorn, Neumunster and Norderstedt. The new, diesel multiple-unit trains will operate on an 81-mile network and serve 48 stations.

Tognum America Inc. recently marked the opening of a new research and development center at its MTU Aiken Plant in South Carolina. The $40 million expansion was made possible in part by the support of Aiken County and the state of South Carolina, company officials said in a press release. The 19,300-square-foot center is designed to test new engines up to 4,500 kW (6,035) while simulating a variety of applications, load demands and environmental conditions. The plant manufactures MTU Series 2000 and 4000 engines, primarily for the U.S. market.

Sasser Family Holdings subsidiary CF Rail Services announced the following additions to the management team at Hoosier Railcar in East Chicago, Ind.: Bill Keene, plant manager; Robert Hilliard, repair superintendent; and William Bradford, purchasing manager. In addition, long-time employee Daniel Ruiz has been appointed manager of quality assurance.

Darby Private Equity, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund II L.P. has invested $15 million in Alta Rail Technology, a supplier of technology products and services to railroads worldwide. Transaction details were not disclosed.

IMPulse NC L.L.C. was honored yesterday as a White House Transportation Champion of Change. The company, which manufactures overhead catenary hardware for public transit systems, was recognized for its Catenary Safety Monitoring System, which is designed to improve the reliability and safety of commuter- and light-rail transit systems while reducing maintenance costs, according to a company press release. IMPulse recently completed several months of successful onsite tests along Hampton Roads Transit's light-rail line.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/9/2013