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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Amsted, Thales, Timken, Alstom and Bombardier (June 2)

Amsted Rail announced it will temporarily idle its wheel facility in Bessemer, Ala., due to reductions in new rail-car demand and "improved efficiencies" of North American railroads, according to a press release. The company plans to idle the facility by Sept. 30. Employees will be provided with pay and benefits, along with opportunities to transfer to other locations with financial relocation assistance. Amsted Rail operates four other wheel manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada.

Thales has integrated its European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 into Switzerland's Gotthard Base Tunnel, which officially opened June 1. Now the world's longest rail tunnel, the 35-mile structure runs under the Swiss Alps between the cities of Erstfeld and Bodio. Thales' ETCS signaling technology will allow for the circulation of more than 300 trains per day at speeds up to 155 mph in both directions. The company's involvement in the Gotthard project includes managing the development, production, installation, integration and homologation of the rail signaling systems within the overall system. Meanwhile, The Timken Co. provided 25,000 high-performance bearings to complete the tunnel project.

Alstom has been awarded a $44.8 million contract by England's TransPennine Express to maintain two fleets of 25 new five-car trains as they enter commercial service in 2019 through 2024. The contract includes an option to extend Alstom's role for two more years. The work will take place at the company's maintenance facilities in Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. Alstom will create 25 new permanent jobs across the three sites to deliver the project, along with new training and apprenticeship opportunities through its Widnes Technology Center.

A Bombardier Transportation-Global Rail Sdn. Bhd. consortium has won a contract to provide the rail control and signaling system for the second line of Malaysia's Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit network. The consortium will deliver the Bombardier Cityflo 650 communications-based train control system for the 32.4-mile line, which will connect the cities of Sungai Buloh, Serdang and Putrajaya. The six-year contract calls for the companies to provide platform screen doors.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/2/2016