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Railway supply industry news round-up

06 Oct 2017

Liebherr-Transportation Systems has opened a service centre at Reiden in Switzerland to provide air-conditioning and hydraulic system support services to Swiss rail vehicle manufacturers and operators.

The Greenbrier Companies received orders for 2 500 wagons valued at $200m in its fourth quarter to August 31. ‘Order activity in the fourth quarter and early fiscal 2018 demonstrates the benefit of focusing on core North American business while we continue to gain traction internationally’, said Chairman & CEO William A Furman on October 4. ‘More than 25% of orders announced today originated from markets outside North America.  Greenbrier's strategy remains to sustain our foundational North American business while we simultaneously expand our international presence.’ 

With financial backing from Innovate UK for a three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership, Associated Utility Supplies is working with the University of Huddersfield to develop the use of computer simulation in the design of overhead line components. 'It cuts down on the cost of making multiple prototypes and testing them', said engineering graduate Harvey Kangley who has joined the company. 'Another aspect is the optimisation of products – using software to make them as streamlined as possible, using fewer materials and keeping the weight down.'

Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded DB Schenker UK a long-term contract to manage the central warehousing and spare parts distribution for the UK's Intercity Express Programme. DB Schenker will provide warehousing and transport services for a wide range of parts, from smaller consumable items to 8 tonne bogies and generator units in excess of 5 m x 2 m.

Wabtec Corp has acquired AM General Contractor, which supplies fire protection and extinguishing systems for the rolling stock and industrial sectors. The Italian company ‘adds new, safety and technology related products to our portfolio’, said Wabtec President & CEO Raymond T Betler on October 2. ‘Its growth opportunities include an expanding retrofit market over the next five years, driven by EU regulations. In addition, AM’s technology offers expansion opportunities into new geographic markets including the UK, India and China.’

On October 2 London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross officially opened John Bradley & Son (Springs) Ltd’s new factory, which combines three previous sites into one at Oldham in northwest England. The company supplies a range of materials including sheet metal and springs for the rail, aerospace and agriculture industries, along with tool cabinets for London Underground and steel track components.

Corporate finance firm Centrus Advisors has acquired London-based MDT Group, which works in rail, shipping and aviation asset finance.

Lithuanian Railways expects to generate annual savings of almost €14m after restructuring its Gelsauga, Railway Construction Centre, Vilnius Locomotive Repair Depot, Railway Environmental Centre, Rail Baltica Construction and GelPro design subsidiaries into four business, with the merger of GelPro into GTC, the outsourcing of services provided by GAC and a reduction in the overlap between VLRD and Gelsauga.