Digest: Alstom lowers purchase price for Bombardier

News Wire Digest for Sept. 17: South Dakota agency OKs sale of line to Watco; misaligned screw blamed for damage to Ottawa light rail equipment
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Thursday morning rail news:

Alstom lowers price for purchase of Bombardier
Alstom will lower its price for Bombardier’s rail unit by $350 million, but the companies still expect to complete the deal, and may do so earlier than originally anticipated. Reuters reports the revised terms of the purchase, which will create the world’s second-largest rail equipment manufacturer, will be about $8.4 billion. Bombardier says it expects net proceeds of about $4 billion after deducting the $2.2 billion equity position of shareholder Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec. Alstom shareholders will vote on the deal on Oct. 29, and it could be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

South Dakota agency approves Watco offer for state-owned rail line
The South Dakota State Railroad Board on Wednesday accepted an offer from Watco to purchase the state-owned Mitchell-Rapid City rail line. The Mitchell Republic reports the exact purchase price was not disclosed but the state said the proposal is double the original offer of $13 million made in August [see “Digest: Watco makes bid for one South Dakota rail line …,” Aug. 20, 2020]. Watco had also pledged to spend $6 million on line upgrades. The line involved covers 285 miles, 190 of which, between Mitchell and Kadoka, are considered active.

Misaligned screw blamed for damaged wheels on Ottawa light rail vehicles
A misaligned screw is believed to be the cause of cracked wheels on light rail vehicles in Ottawa, Ontario. The Ottawa Citizen reports the city’s transit commission was told the city agrees with the finding by Rideau Transit Group, operator of the troubled light rai line, and equipment manufacturer Alstom. The manufacturer is replacing all wheels on the trainsets, a job expected to be completed in early 2021. Three wheels showed signs of defects during examinations in July, leading the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to look into the problem [see “TSB to investigate cracked wheel issue on Ottawa light rail vehicles,” News Wire Digest, July 10, 2020]. The TSB has not yet signed off on the finding by Rideau and Alstom.


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