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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier updates from Mitsubishi, Miner, RailComm, The Andersons, Sasser, Sundt and A. Stucki (Nov. 7)


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America Inc. obtained an order from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority to design, build, operate, and maintain a new automated people mover (APM) system at Tampa International Airport. The project — which is slated for completion in 2017 — calls for building a 1.4-mile APM system to connect the main airport terminal, a new parking structure and a new consolidated rental car facility. Mitsubishi will supply 12 new train cars. In addition, the contract includes five years of system operations and maintenance and two an additional five-year options, which will be performed together with the joint venture of MHIA and Sumitomo Corp.-Crystal Mover Services Inc.

Miner Enterprises recently conducted box-car door testing pursuant to a revised Association of American Railroads' standard. The tests included rail-car impact, water spray and light leakage tests on Miner's research and development impact track at its facility in Geneva, Ill. "We see our R&D and testing capabilities not as a profit center, but as a service to the industry," said Andrew Kries, Miner's manager of mechanical testing services of research and development, in a press release.

RailComm has been chosen to install and provide control to multiple switches throughout a Port of Los Angeles terminal. Control for the switches will be provided via a Domain Operations Controller (DOC®) system, RailComm’s proprietary yard control application. Additionally, RailComm will install DTMF control equipment that will enable the port to throw switches and route trains using standard hand-held radios. Every action involving the DOC System, including DTMF control requests, will be recorded by the system and logged in a database allowing for review and analysis using integrated software tools, according to a RailComm press release.

The Andersons Inc. reported third-quarter net income of $16.8 million, or 59 cents per share, on revenue of $1 billion compared with net income of $17.2 million, or 61 cents per share, on revenue of $1.2 billion in third-quarter 2013. Revenue was down in the grain and ethanol groups due to lower commodity prices. The rail group's income fell in the quarter due in part to the group recognizing $4.3 million in income from the settlement of two non-performing leases last year, and a significant increase in freight expenses to move idle cars into service, according to a company press release.

Sasser Family Holdings, whose subsidiaries include Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co. and other rail-related companies, will sponsor the Nov. 20-21 meeting of the Family Business Network of North America in Coral Gables, Fla. Titled, “A Balancing Act: Family and Business Governance," the meeting will bring together key principals in family businesses for professional growth and idea exchange.

Sundt Construction Inc. was among the honorees of the 2014 Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence for its work at Union Pacific Railroad's new Strauss Rail Yard in Santa Teresa, N.M. Established by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in railway engineering. Sundt’s work on the $400 million project began in 2012 and included a $190 million contract for the project’s second phase, which involved the construction of 26 buildings and a fuel facility, installation of underground utilities and concrete paving.

A. Stucki Co. has hired Daniel Mihalcak as vice president of sales. Mihalcak will oversee the strategic direction and expansion of the company’s industrial division, which comprises three subsidiaries involved in the manufacture of springs, urethane, machining, castings, grating and stamping. Before joining Stucki, Mihalcak served Cattron Group International in Sharon, Pa., for 25 years. He was VP of sales and director of strategic accounts for Cattron, which manufactures remote control units for overhead cranes and locomotives.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/7/2014