STANDARD Car Truck Co announced on October 18 that it had formed Barber Tianrui Railway Supply Co as a joint venture with China's Tianrui Group for the global marketing of cast steel wheels.

The joint venture agreement was signed in Chicago by the Chairman of Standard Car Truck Richard Mathes and his counterpart at Tianrui, Li Liu Fa.

Tianrui is one of the world's largest producers of wagon bogie castings, and expects to commission a state of the art wheel casting plant in Ruzhou City, Henan Province by end of 2007 and begin supplying wheels early next year. This will initially have an annual capacity of 400 000 wheels, but a doubling is envisaged with future growth.

Tianrui is a major cement manufacturer, and has its own power plants and coal and iron ore resources, which will help keep down the costs of materials and production.

With effect from September 28 Standard Car Truck acquired ZefTek, a Montgomery, Illinois, based company which produces polymer rolling stock components for wear reduction and damage prevention.