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Railway supply industry news round-up

05 Jul 2019

US wagon repair and storage company Appalachian Railcar Services has expanded its facility at Elk Mills in Maryland to create a full-service tank car workshop with interior and exterior blast and paint capability. Services include certification, accident repairs, cleaning and lining options, as well as 24/7 mobile repair capabilities for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.

Škoda Transportation has established a Škoda Digital subsidiary through the merger of Lokel and part of the technical section of its Plzeň site. Its product portfolio consists of three core systems for diagnostics, train control & management, and CCTV, information systems and communications.

Rafael Santana became President & CEO of Wabtec on July 1, succeeding Raymond T Betler who has retired as a Wabtec executive and board member. Santana became President & CEO of Wabtec’s Freight segment following the merger of Wabtec and GE Transportation, where he was President & CEO. 

Alstom has appointed Guillaume Tritter as Managing Director for its ‘Western & Central Asia Cluster’, which includes Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Iraq. He was previously Managing Director for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan, based in Nur-Sultan. Western & Central Asia is ‘a fascinating region with amazing market capabilities’, he said. Alstom has more than 730 people, five offices, two depots and two other facilities in the region including the EKZ locomotive factory and KEP point machine plant.

M Group Services has acquired UK railway electrification infrastructure services company Antagrade Electrical, which will retain its identity as a standalone business within the new owner’s transport division. ‘Antagrade’s specialist expertise and service offering will broaden the transport division’s existing scope of capability, complementing perfectly the essential infrastructure, maintenance and renewal services that we provide through Dyer & Butler’, said Neil Edwards, Managing Director of the transport division.

‘The company is performing well in a choppy global freight railcar market‘, said William A Furman,  Chairman & CEO of The Greenbrier Companies, when presenting financial results for the third quarter to May 31. ‘Greenbrier received orders for approximately 6 500 new railcars valued at $730m‘, he said. ‘These orders span a range of railcar types from a diverse set of customers. Greenbrier's backlog of 26 100 units valued at $2·7bn provides strong visibility and cash flow into fiscal 2020. Greenbrier's four-part strategy remains unchanged: reinforcing our core North American markets, executing on our international strategy, developing a robust talent pipeline, and growing the business on a larger scale.‘

UK infrastructure manager Network Rail has made an offer to acquire some railway-specific assets of British Steel, if the business cannot be sold by the liquidators as a going concern. ‘We have made an indicative offer for some railway-critical assets although our overwhelming preference is that a purchaser for the entire business is found‘, said a spokesman. ‘We are very clear that our offer will not undermine that. Our role is to safely run the railway for the millions of people who rely on it every day and we are exploring all options to make sure we can continue to do that.'

Ticket retailer Trainline has announced a partnership with Swiss Federal Railways enabling it to sell tickets for SBB and regional operators serving approximately 1 800 stations. Tickets can be used on customers’ mobile devices or printed at home.