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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Rail supplier news from Jacobs, Vertex, Lat-Lon, Cubic and Alstom (Aug. 2)

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has agreed to purchase CH2M Hill Cos. Ltd. for $2.85 billion. The transaction is aimed at providing Jacobs a "leading position" and new expertise in the high-growth infrastructure and government services sectors, Jacobs officials said in a press release. In addition, Jacobs will be able to deliver more solutions to more clients by applying CH2M's advanced design, technical and program management expertise, company officials said. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of Jacobs' 2018 fiscal year.

Vertex Railcar Corp. has obtained an order for its 2480 CF aggregate car from a rail industry lessor. The lessor chose Vertex after visiting its facility in Wilmington, North Carolina. The deal marks the second time a rail lessor has chosen the company's aggregate car in recent months, Vertex officials said in a press release. In addition, another lessor has recently chosen Vertex's 7500CF wood chip car. Although Vertex didn't disclose the quantity of cars or terms of either order, company officials described both deals as "significant." The cars will begin shipping in early fall.

Lat-Lon yesterday announced that it has eliminated the monthly cellular service charge on the latest version of its solar tracking unit. The company has replaced the standard cellular modem with a Long Range Radio (LoRa) data modem, which can offload the data collected during a trip for no charge, Lat-Lon officials said in a press release. LoRa is a low-power, long-range wireless technology designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The new solar tracking unit features all the capabilities of the cellular-based product, including impact detection and temperature monitoring.

Cubic Transportation Systems has received a contract extension from the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for operations and maintenance services for the Clipper® card fare payment system. The extended contract period runs from 2019 through 2024. The deal is valued at $25 million per year, Cubic officials said in a press release. Cubic has been providing services to MTC under an existing 10-year service agreement that began when the company launched the Clipper card system in the San Francisco area in 2009. MTC plans to upgrade the Clipper system with new fare technologies, such as mobile payment options.

Alstom has delivered the first of 60 Citadis X05 light-rail vehicles to Transport for New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Designed by Alstom and assembled at its center in La Rochelle, France, the unit is part of the latest generation of Citadis cars. Each vehicle will operate in a coupled set that will have seating capacity for 450 riders. The Citadis X05 units feature double-doors for improved access and passenger flows. The model was produced first for Sydney but will soon be rolled out in Nice and Avignon, France, as well as in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/2/2017