Train buffs may lament the passing of the Great Days of Railroading, of endless, snaking trains pulling specialized, luxurious compartments, including elegant dining cars with stewards serving multicourse meals on gleaming crystal, china and silver.
But for a Savage, Md., paper-products supplier, this may not be the preferred mode of travel.
For the second consecutive year, the Acme Paper and Supply Co. has won the distinction, not to mention $1 million in revenue, of being the sole supplier of disposable dinnerware to the national passenger train network, Amtrak.
From its warehouses in the Baltimore-Washington Industrial Park and distribution centers in Massachusetts, Illinois and California, Acme will supply Amtrak with more than 23 million disposable food-service materials this year.
Acme is the largest distributor of food service and maintenance supplies in the Maryland-Virginia-Washington area.
At least one local company has plans to capitalize on the liquidation, announced earlier this year, of Stanwick Corp., an Arlington firm that provides maintenance management and logistical support to private industry and the government.
Last week, Cerberonics Inc., a Bailey's Crossroads firm that specializes in technical support primarily to the Pentagon, announced that it has acquired Stanwick's defense business for $400,000 in cash.
As a condition of the purchase, Cerberonics will assume responsibility for various Defense Department contracts previously held by Stanwick. The transfer awaits Pentagon approval.
Cerberonics said that, in effect, it has acquired the bulk of Stanwick's remaining operations.
PSC Inc., a Tysons Corner computer and electronics firm, has been acquired by a Chicago firm, Gould Inc.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Gould, located in the Chicago suburbs of Rolling Meadows, develops and produces computer systems, industrial automation systems, defense systems, semiconductors and other electronic components.
Gould ran a loss of $108 million last year on revenue of $1.42 billion, apparently the result of cutting back the company's semiconductor business.
PSC management will continue to run the firm, according to a Gould spokesman.
PSC employs about 150 engineers and scientists.
Labor demand changed only slightly in Virginia from January to February, as shown by fluctuations in help-wanted ads, according to the University of Virginia's Tayloe Murphy Institute.
The Lynchburg area showed a 5 percent increase in the help-wanted index, the largest rise in labor demand in the state for that period. Northern Virginia and Charlottesville followed with a 4 percent increase; Roanoke showed a 3 percent increase; and the Tidewater-area labor index remained constant.
Planning Research Corp.'s government information systems division has won an award from the Customs Service to develop a computer system to support the law enforcement activities of Customs, the Treasury Department, which has jurisdiction over the agency, and several other federal agencies.
The new system will replace the current Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), which now supports the Customs and Immigration and Naturalization Service inspection activities at ports and borders.
If all the contract options are exercised, the company said, the contract has a value of $14.8 million over 5 1/2 years. The initial value is $1.6 million.
The system, TECS II, will be designed to provide the government with greater capability to meet the increased requirements of law enforcement agencies that have access to the system.
Arlington Armature, the 39-year-old remanufacturer of automobile starters and alternators, has been sold to a Michigan investor, Gunther Hencken, for an undisclosed price.
Jerry Sprague, owner for the past 15 years, sold the company in order "to retire and pursue other interests, according to a spokesman.
Hencken, whose past ventures have been in manufacturing in the automobile industry, bought the remanufacturing facility in Newington and a related company, Springfield Automotive, an automobile repair operation.