Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Blue Ridge Railcar Repair LLC (Blue Ridge), a subsidiary of Patriot Rail Company LLC, will invest $2.41 million to expand its operations in Charlotte County. Virginia successfully competed against Louisiana for the project, which will create 37 new jobs.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Blue Ridge Railcar Repair was established in Charlotte County in December 2013, bringing an existing railcar repair facility back into operation and adding jobs and tax revenue to a community that has been hard hit by industry loss. Less than a year later, the company will expand to include railcar cleaning, blasting and painting capabilities to meet increased demand in the marketplace and grow its customer base, bringing an additional 37 new jobs that will pay above the county’s prevailing average wage. The new investment and job opportunities for Southern Virginia are exactly what we need to build a new Virginia Economy, and we look forward to Blue Ridge’s success in Charlotte County in the coming years.”
“The prosperity of existing businesses is vital to economic development in Virginia, and we are proud of Blue Ridge Railcar Repair’s success in Charlotte County in the past year,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “An increasing need for the company’s services in the market is great news, and the facility in Keysville can accommodate the demand with this expansion. We thank Blue Ridge for its investment, and commend Charlotte County on providing a business environment that allows the company to flourish.”
Patriot Rail Company LLC (Patriot Rail) is a leading operator of 500 miles of short line railroads and railcar repair facilities in 14 states across the U.S servicing a diversified customer base, including the chemical, mineral, forest products, timber, paper, manufacturing, grain and foodstuffs industries. Patriot partners with Class I railroads, transloaders (who transfer shipments from one mode of transportation to another) and railroad service providers to bring its customers customized freight transportation solutions, including freight haulage, railcar switching, repair, cleaning and storage; locomotive repair and switching; track and rail shop leasing; and construction.
In December 2013, Patriot Rail acquired the assets of a railcar repair and cleaning service provider located in Keysville, Virginia. The new railcar facility operates under Blue Ridge Railcar Repair LLC. The Blue Ridge facility is located 16 miles from the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) interchange. The shop is an M-1003 AAR certified railcar repair facility with 21 acres of land, paint and blast capabilities, and 11,000 feet of track capacity which allows for up to 130 “repair in progress” cars to be stored at any given time. Blue Ridge repairs, cleans, and paints a wide array of railcar types, including boxcars, hoppers, gondolas, and flatcars.
“Patriot Rail’s investment in our Virginia-based Blue Ridge Railcar Repair is directly related to the support received from the state and local economic development councils,” said President and CEO John Fenton. “We were also attracted to the facility’s unique locale which will allow for expansion, as well as access to a nearby community college with a vocational training program to support new hires and continuing education for employees.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Charlotte County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Charlotte County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $155,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The company may be eligible to receive benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Dr. Nancy Carwile, Chair, Charlotte County Board of Supervisors, expressing appreciation on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and the Industrial Development Authority, said, "We applaud the efforts of Blue Ridge Railcar Repair to make investments, even in these tough economic times, that create economic opportunity—opportunities not only for the railroad industry but for our regional workforce. Charlotte County reiterates its promise to work with Blue Ridge Railcar throughout the facets of company growth here. "
“The Tobacco Commission is excited to play a role in this expansion,” said Gary D. Walker, member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “Blue Ridge Railcar’s stability and growth continues to fuel the community’s strong local economy. I look forward to working with companies like Blue Ridge Railcar Repair to make sure Southern Virginia continues to move toward an economic resurgence.”
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe Administration, 188 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia with over $4.6 billion in capital investment, the largest amount of capital investment brought to the Commonwealth in any Governor's first nine months in office.
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