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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Updates from RailComm, Greenbrier and Colo Railroad; ALSO, in memoriam: Delta Railroad Construction CEO Larry Laurello


• RailComm and ERB Technologies have provided a Yard Automation System at Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen South Mine in South Africa, according to a RailComm press release. The automation system comprises RailComm’s DOC® (Domain Operations Controller) server-based central control system and four associated outdoor-rated control panels. The system uses RailComm RADiANT™ data radios to communicate between the office system, control panels and a network of power switches.

• The Greenbrier Cos. reported net income of $14.5 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal-year 2012 compared with a net loss of $2.3 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose from $199 million to $398 million, according to a company earnings statement. New rail-car deliveries during the quarter were 3,300 units, up from 1,050 units a year earlier. Subsequent to the quarter’s end, the company received orders for 2,400 additional units valued at $240 million. As of Nov. 30, 2011, the new car manufacturing backlog stood at 13,300 units with an estimated value of $1.1 billion, compared with 8,100 units with an estimated value of $580 million on Nov. 30, 2010. “Business trends continue to be strong in our North American rail-related businesses,” said Greenbrier President and Chief Executive Officer William Furman. “In response, over the past five quarters, we have steadily ramped up new rail-car production in North America, increasing production rates on existing lines and opening up new or previously idle production lines to meet growing demand.”

• Colo Railroad Builders has appointed Cene Cooley vice president of operations in Texas, effective Jan. 2. Prior to his appointment, Cooley served as the chief engineer of the Gulf region for Watco Cos. L.L.C. He also has previous experience with Colo as director of operations and safety, and with Balfour Beatty Rail Inc., Railworks and Kyle Railways/States Rail Inc. in various roles.

• On Jan. 2, Delta Railroad Construction Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer C. L. “Larry” Laurello passed away at his Saybrook, Ohio, home. He was 73. Laurello began his railroad career in 1961 with Koppers after graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a civil engineering degree. In 1965, he joined his father, Cosmo, at Delta Railroad Construction, and years later became president and CEO. Under his leadership with his wife of 53 years, Ida, Delta Railroad Construction “became one of the premier railroad contractors, well known for advancing the latest technology,” Laurello’s obituary states. “Larry was respected for his utmost integrity and honesty in all aspects of his life. He was a humble man, unwilling to take credit or receive recognition for the many contributions he made to assist those in need,” the obituary states. “His greatest joy was his family and the many workers that he also considered his family.” Laurello is survived by his wife, three sons and six grandchildren. The family asks that memorial contributions be made to Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County, St. Joseph Soup Kitchen, Our Lady of Peace Parish and the FSH Society to benefit muscular dystrophy, 11 Elmbrook Circle, Bedford, MA 01730.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/9/2012