Acquisition will shake up rail ballast maintenance sector

Written by RT&S Staff
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Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of the Balfour Beatty Track Solutions division.

Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group (RSRG) and Balfour Beatty U.S. are pleased to announce they have entered into an agreement for the acquisition by RSRG of the Balfour Beatty Track Solutions division.

The division will be rebranded as Rhomberg Sersa North America (RSNA).

The acquisition means that RSNA will be the largest owner operator of ballast cleaning services in North America.

The purchase increases the geographic footprint of RSRG, a company which already operates on three continents and in seven other countries, including Canada. It also makes RSRG one of the few European rail contractors to have a significant and permanent presence in the U.S.

Thomas Bachhofner, CEO of RSRG stated: “As one of the technology leaders in the global rail business, we aim to support our customers everywhere in the world with an innovative, high-quality portfolio. The competencies and machinery of the Track Solution team will clearly help us in this endeavor. We welcome the team of Steve Atherton and we are looking forward to developing the U.S. business by creating synergies within RSRG.”

Michael Match, the CEO of Rhomberg Sersa North America added: “Over the past 20 years, Balfour Beatty has invested in some of the very best ballast maintenance equipment and technologies, which has translated into Track Solutions becoming a leader in track bed and ballast maintenance as well as inspection technologies in the U.S. Meanwhile in Canada, Rhomberg Sersa is the market leader in ballast cleaning, milling and specialized urban grinding. This acquisition will create by far the largest owner operator of ballast cleaning services in North America and with the market leading inspection technologies, we can provide end-to-end solutions to clients to restore their track bed and top of rail.”

With a fleet of eight ballast cleaners including the three newest and most highly productive Plasser RM80 undercutters in North America, and supported by over 30 experienced and qualified technicians, RSNA will continue to provide the lowest cost per foot cut to clients with the best machine reliability. The recent addition of 10 Plasser MFS Wagons and two specialized Power Wagons further expands the ability of RSNA to provide end-to-end solutions for ballast renewal projects.

RSNA will enable the business to effectively take the next step to evolve and expand core capabilities and services offered across the entire North American railroad industry.

Leon Blondin, CEO of Balfour Beatty U.S. said, “The Track Solutions team offers specialized services that align nicely with RSRG’s core business of high output track maintenance machines. As one of the country’s largest rail contractors, Balfour Beatty will continue its focus on its core rail business in capital programs and traction power as we hand over the Track Solutions team into the trusted hands of RSRG.”

RSNA will take over the existing contracts with both public and private companies as well as grow the business across the U.S. The existing client base of the division includes NJ Transit, MTA, BNSF and Amtrak.

The division scans and reports on the status of 30,000+ miles of track annually.

Read more articles on track maintenance.

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