Railcar Repairs

A manufacturing fixture is revamping a repair operation in Illinois

Railroads helped the country develop as it spread westward—we know this. In the Midwest, particularly, a network of the earliest freight and passenger routes began to crisscross the landscape in the 1850s. One key junction was Danville, Illinois, where a railcar manufacturing facility was just repurchased, and will be repurposed by an Ohio agribusiness company with a long history in railroad repairs.

Maumee, Ohio-based The Andersons, Inc., announced August 1 it signed an agreement to purchase the Danville Railcar Facility from FreightCar America, Inc. The company intends to turn the former freight car manufacturing plant into a full-service freight and tank railcar repair shop, it said in a news release that same day.

The 308,000 square-foot Danville facility (an aerial view of which is pictured below right) is situated along the CSX Transportation network‘s Illinois sector of the high-volume Midwest Corridor, running from Chicago to Memphis, St. Louis, and elsewhere. From the facility, which can store up to 400 railcars, Andersons will execute repair services like painting, blasting, cleaning, tank car certification and scrapping. Danville will be the Rail Group’s 21st shop in the United States.

Danville Railcar Facility, Danville, Illinois.—The Andersons, Inc. photo

“We are excited to add the Danville facility to our repair network,” said Sam Anderson, Vice President of Operations, The Andersons Rail Group. “The purchase helps support our strategy of providing quality repairs and outstanding service to rail shippers, railroads, and railcar leasing companies across the U.S.”

The purchase is expected to close in August 2018. The Andersons expects the repair shop to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Founded in Maumee, Ohio, in 1947, The Andersons is a diversified company rooted in agriculture conducting business across North America in the grain, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail sectors—the last of which is one of its oldest. Since its inception, Anderson repairs, sells, manages and leases a fleet of nearly 23,000 various types of railcars and locomotives. The group has railcar repair facilities across the country, and also offers fleet management services to private railcar owners and operates a custom steel fabrication business.

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