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AusRAIL PLUS: Martinus moving into the US

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Martinus Rail is a regular at the AusRAIL conferences, where the company turns the spotlight on its various projects around the world.

Among the Martinus Rail contingent at this year’s event was Brett Urquhart, president of the newly-minted North American division of the company.

Martinus North America was formed in August after the acquisition of Bottom Line Company, a nationwide rail contractor specialising in track and bridge construction and maintenance, track safety, and emergency derailment services.

“The diverse service offerings that the Martinus Bottom Line business unit provides will not only help grow our revenue in the North American market, but provide a platform to expand to major projects and other railway product supply,” Urquhart said.

“About two years ago, we started to look at some major projects in North America and that kicked off the interest for Martinus to develop a strategy to get into the market.

“About a year ago, we decided to start tendering some works. We actually looked at partnering with some companies there, and Bottom Line became available on the market for us to acquire all the assets and the people of that business.

“We actually already have about 240 employees there now, and so we are now into track construction, bridge maintenance and track safety services, and we’ve started our product supply division as well.

“The projects run pretty much all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast of the US, conducting work for Class 1 heavy haul railroads, industrial and basically short line railroads, which is its own segment in that country.”

Urquhart said that the US has become one of Martinus’ four core markets.

“The Australian business trading started in product supply, developed that into a rail service business into major projects and even mega-projects, and now haulage and the operation and maintenance of railways,” he said.

“That same footprint was taken into New Zealand and Chile, where again we started with product supply, developed into a small rail service and now we’re looking at getting into tendering.”

Urquhart said AusRAIL PLUS provided the opportunity for Martinus to meet with various suppliers and contractors, whether they were partners or competitors.

“We might see contractors that we work with in different parts of the world that are our competitors here. But they might be a joint venture partner in the future. A lot of those companies have a presence in North America, so the conference is a great way to network and improve relationships,” he said.