CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2014 (Business Wire) -FreightCar America, Inc. is expanding its presence in the Shoals region of Alabama through the previously announced $10 million expansion to add an additional production line to meet growing demand for the Company's new types of railcars. As the Company increases production, it will add an additional 150 to 200 jobs beyond its current employment base of approximately 500 employees.
When fully operational in the second quarter of 2015, the facility will have the capacity to build approximately 6,000 to 8,000 railcars per year. With the $10 million additional capital investment, FreightCar America's total investment in the Shoals facility will approximate $33 million.
The new production line will increase FreightCar America's sublease of Navistar, Inc.'s Cherokee, Alabama manufacturing facility to approximately one-third of the entire facility. Completed in 2008, the production facility was designed to efficiently build a wide variety of railcar types. FreightCar America has subleased a portion of the facility since the beginning of 2013, with production commencing in July of 2013.
"FreightCar America has successfully diversified the Company with a number of new railcar types, which have been well-received in the marketplace," said Joe McNeely, President and Chief Executive Officer. "A major part of this achievement has been the decision to manufacture railcars at the state-of-the-art Shoals facility. Our success has a lot of contributors, including all of our employees and our business partners, especially Navistar, the Retirement Systems of Alabama and AIDT. We also want to thank Governor Robert Bentley and the State of Alabama, Shoals Economic Development Authority and all of the Shoals community for their support. We look forward to these valued relationships as we grow and make FreightCar America a long-term valuable member of this community."
FreightCar America, Inc. manufactures a wide range of railroad freight cars, supplies railcar parts, leases freight cars through its JAIX Leasing Company subsidiary and provides railcar maintenance and repairs through its FreightCar Rail Services, LLC subsidiary. FreightCar America designs and builds high-quality railcars, including coal cars, bulk commodity cars, covered hopper cars, intermodal and non-intermodal flat cars, mill gondola cars, coil steel cars and motor vehicle carriers. It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and has facilities in the following locations: Cherokee, Alabama; Danville, Illinois; Grand Island, Nebraska; Hastings, Nebraska; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Roanoke, Virginia. More information about FreightCar America is available on its website at www.freightcaramerica.com.