The contract comprises an initial order worth over $100 million through 2016, together with provisions for future options. Harsco Rail will supply SBB with a combination of specialty vehicles and Utility Track Vehicles (UTVs), described as “a highly versatile rail-based maintenance configuration equipped with cranes, generators and/or work platforms that is widely used by railways throughout the world.”
Delivery of the first vehicle is scheduled for 2015. The units will be deployed on the Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels. Both tunnels are integral parts of the Swiss AlpTransit project, a major undertaking to increase transport capacity across the Alps, while at the same time reducing the environmental damage associated with highway truck transport. Harsco Rail says the new technology it is developing for SBB “will further support emissions reduction by utilizing an advanced, dual-mode traction system which, in turn, reduces diesel fuel consumption. ”
“This contract is a major strategic win that goes beyond simply the dollar size of the order,” said Harsco President and CEO Patrick Decker. “Not only does it energize the growth of our European Rail business model and support our future objectives, it speaks also to our capacity for technical innovation and responsiveness to stringent customer specifications.”
The SBB award considerably broadens the business landscape for Harsco Rail, introducing the first products the division will design and manufacture in Europe. Harsco Rail will purchase 40% of the content for the UTVs from Swiss suppliers, and also will utilize components from other proven European railway suppliers.
“The SBB contract marks a new chapter in Harsco Rail’s history,” said Harsco Rail President Scott Jacoby. “Our European team is building technical and local sourcing relationships that add another dimension to our capabilities, particularly in such an influential equipment market as Europe. We’re excited to see our Harsco UTVs leading a new generation of railway maintenance vehicle technology.”