Columbus, Ohio-based Carthcart Rail on July 8 completed its acquisition of The Andersons’ railcar repair business. Also, global rail fastening supplier Pandrol has provided an Ultrasonic Rail Testing Kit to SBS Transit Ltd. in Singapore; and Ricardo and Danish firm PantoInspect will bring PanMon pantograph monitoring technology to railroads across North America and Latin America.
Cathcart Rail announced in May that it signed an agreement to purchase The Andersons’ railcar repair business; terms of the deal were not disclosed. On July 8, the agreement was finalized.
“The Andersons railcar repair network aligns perfectly with Cathcart’s strategic goal of offering a broad array of rail services across a national footprint, and we are excited to welcome The Andersons employees to the Cathcart family,” said Casey Cathcart, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cathcart Rail, whose Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad received a Short Line of the Year Honorable Mention from Railway Age in 2021. “With the addition of The Andersons railcar repair network, Cathcart’s nearly 1,000 employees across 110-plus locations make us the leading railcar services company in the country.”
“The sale of our railcar repair business to Cathcart Rail finalizes our exit from the rail segment as we announced in August of last year,” said Pat Bowe, President and CEO of The Andersons. “Our strategic decision to exit our rail segment allows us to focus on and invest in our core agricultural verticals of grain and fertilizer.”
“Our railcar repair employees are among the most skilled and experienced in the industry, and they have been critical to our success,” said Joe McNeely, President of The Andersons Nutrient and Industrial business. “We thank them for their contributions and commitment to The Andersons and our customers throughout the sale process. We are excited for them and the growth opportunities that Cathcart Rail will provide them.”
“Nuveen’s Infrastructure team is excited to partner with Cathcart and Star America as we continue to grow and diversify our transportation portfolio,” said Andrew Diehl, Sector Head of Private Infrastructure at Nuveen. “The Private Infrastructure team at Nuveen builds on more than 20 years of energy and infrastructure investing to select and structured direct equity infrastructure investments such as I-595, which was named P3 Awards 2020 North American Best Operation Transport Project. Nuveen’s infrastructure portfolio is over $3 billion with investments in power, transportation, digital and social sectors. The diversified portfolio has included equity, high-yield debt, and convertible debt.”
According to Cathcart, The Andersons’ railcar repair business transaction was supported by a senior loan syndicate led by Bank of America, N.A. and BofA Securities, Inc., with Wells Fargo Securities, LLC serving as financial advisor to Cathcart. Milbank LLP served as legal counsel to Cathcart, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP as counsel to Nuveen, and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP as counsel to The Andersons. Railroad Financial Corporation served as transaction advisor to The Andersons, while other advisors of Cathcart included Ernst & Young and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.
SBS Transit, which is responsible for the maintenance of a number of metro and bus lines in Singapore, will implement Pandrol’s Ultrasonic Rail Testing Kit as part of its rail management and maintenance program. The kit “uses high-pitched waves to identify defects in the rail,” Pandrol explained. “A full track inspection service provides an exhaustive report of the location, characteristics and urgency of all defects.”
Pandrol Director of Track Control Solutions Gérard Nowak and Development Engineer Louis Montoya trained SBS Transit operators on equipment use.
“Pandrol hopes that this is the start of a long-term positive working relationship; we’ve had great feedback from the customer and can see a high level of opportunities in the APAC area to develop our track control equipment offering,” Nowak said.
Under a new Strategic Alliance Agreement with PantoInspect, Ricardo will now also support installation of the PanMon system on networks throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. Projects will be managed from initial planning through to installation, test operation and ongoing analysis support.
With PanMon, Ricardo said it “oversees the installation of high-definition cameras and laser technology at strategic locations across a network. Positioned above or adjacent to the tracks, the units scan passing pantographs at 3,000 frames per second, capturing measurements of each unit’s symmetry, pitch and yaw, as well as the condition and thickness of the carbon contact strip.
“The images are digitally collated by PantoInspect, the technology developers, and relayed to network owners via cloud-based dashboards, highlighting negative trends and raising alarms when certain thresholds are breached. With their direct access to the 2D images and 3D scans captured by PanMon, maintenance teams can identify individual defective pantograph units and take action to prevent further damage being inflicted on the overhead apparatus.”
PanMon was installed on key sections of Scotland’s main line between 2020-21, and the system is reporting with an average accuracy in excess of 99.5% across each camera site, with 50,000 pantographs scanned each month, according to Ricardo.
“Working alongside Ricardo, we have continued to establish PantoInspect as one of the most accurate and reliable measurement solutions on the market,” PantoInspect CEO Malte Brieting said. “This agreement opens a major new territory for this technology and, building on Ricardo’s existing relationships in the region, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”
“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with PantoInspect,” said Kirk Klug, Director of Business Development-Rail U.S. at Ricardo.