Balfour Beatty is to acquire the rail business of American rolling-stock operator Adtranz, it was announced this week.

Chief executive Mike Welton said the £94m deal was an important step towards Balfour’s aim of becoming the world’s leading rail infrastructure firm.

The remainder of Adtranz, which is currently owned by DaimlerChrysler, is about to be sold to Canadian rail firm Bombardier for £511m. Although Adtranz’s rail arm is focused on Germany, Welton said last month that Balfour planned to focus on its US rail operations. The company recently bought US trackwork companies Marta Track and Metroplex Corporation.

In the UK, Balfour is Railtrack’s preferred bidder for £600m of maintenance work.