On July 29 The Greenbrier Companies reported that it had completed the acquisition of the wagon and components manufacturing businesses of American Railcar Industries, under a US$400m deal agreed in April. The ARI facilities in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas, including two new wagon manufacturing plants and 1 600 employees, will be integrated into Greenbrier’s manufacturing and commercial operations. ‘This acquisition, combined with our existing strategic footprint, enables us to better serve our geographically-diverse customer base through enhanced vertical integration, reduced transportation and economies of scale’, explained Chief Commercial Officer Mark Rittenbaum. ‘It broadens our engineering and design capabilities and expands our portfolio in tank cars and covered hopper railcars, allowing us to serve new markets and growing customer needs.’

Alstom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kazakhstan Railways for the development of digital technologies for railway signalling and interlockings. The MoU was signed by Kanat Almagambetov, First Deputy Chairman of KTZ and Didier Pfleger, Alstom’s Senior Vice-President for Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, during an official visit by France’s Minister of Economics & Finance Bruno Le Maire to the EKZ electric locomotive plant in Nur-Sultan. ‘Modernisation of railway infrastructure is one of the priorities for the development of the country’s transport sector’, explained KTZ CEO Sauat Mynbayev. ‘We are confident that in partnership with Alstom we will be able to deploy modern signalling systems in a shorter timescale’.

Story Contracting has officially opened its new office in Birmingham, which has been established to help the company and its strategic partner FJD Consulting deliver improvement projects across the Midlands under a £38m two-year framework contract with Network Rail for structures work in the southern part of NR’s North-Western Central region. Having completed strengthening work on the Snow Hill tunnel, the team is currently working on projects in Walsall and Tamworth.

Citing ‘a rebounding rail industry and an increase in orders’, National Railroad Equipment Corp has reopened its plant in Paducah, Kentucky. ‘Our goal since we shuttered it has always been to bring it back online and to get our employees back to work’, explained NRE President Steven Beal. The 4·1 ha workshop complex is initially being used for locomotive inspections and light repairs, but NRE is hoping to resume remanufacturing and construction of new locomotives as well as component recovery and field servicing.

KfW IPEX-Bank is financing 18 Alstom Cordia Lint 54 DMUs ordered by Baden-Württemberg’s rolling stock procurement body SFBW for use on Zollernalbbahn services from December 2020. The €79m loan is guaranteed by the Land and will be repaid within 25 years.

Ctrip Group’s TrainPal app now sell tickets for Trenitalia and Italo services in Italy, as well as UK rail services.

Steelmaker EVRAZ has appointed AXIP Energy CEO James ‘Skip’ Herald as President & CEO of EVRAZ North America with effect from July 31. He succeeds Conrad Winkler, who is leaving to pursue opportunities outside the group.

Ticketing technology company Bytemark has appointed Eric Reese as Chief Operating Officer. He has previously worked for engineering firm Gannett Fleming, Scheidt & Bachmann and the Chicago Transit Authority, where he oversaw the implementation of the Ventra fare payment system.

Siemens Mobility announced on July 29 that East Riding of Yorkshire Council has approved its outline planning application for construction of an 80 000 m2 rail vehicle production facility. Subject to further approvals, Siemens hopes to start work next year and have the factory fully operational by 2025.

To streamline its property holdings, Nurminen Logistics has bought back the Finnish freight terminals in Vainikkala, Kotka and Luumäki for €3·5m. The three terminals had been sold to Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co in 2009 under a sale-and-leaseback agreement, which was due to finish in October 2019. The company had previously acquired the freight terminal in Niirala.