The Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company (ACWR) announced that is has formed a new subsidiary, ACWR Shops, LLC, that repairs and retrofits locomotives, as well as passenger and freight cars. The company has acquired and began retrofitting the former Commodore Homes Corporation building on Highway 220 in Candor, NC.
“Our Vice President of Mechanical, Dale Parks, has been building the HYPERLINK “http://www.acwr.com/services/rolling-stock-maintenance-and-repair” locomotive, freight railcar, and passenger car repair part of our business for over five years. “ said Rob Menzies, president and CEO of ACWR. “We have exceeded capacity at our facility in Star, and we are already attracting interest from companies wanting to know when we will be ready to start to working on their locomotives.”
The company plans to create 25 new jobs and invest $3.3 million over the next five years in the facility. Currently, ACWR employs 34 employees in Montgomery County, NC.
ACWR has already begun the first phase of retrofitting the 91,000-square-foot warehouse facility to turn it into a HYPERLINK “http://www.acwr.com/facilities/repair-shop” locomotive repair shop facility that will include 4,600 feet of new track and a modern locomotive pit. The building will primarily be occupied by the newly established subsidiary, but will also house ACWR corporate headquarters when the second phase of retrofitting is complete.
The longer-term goal for the Candor location is to develop the rest of the 78 acre rail served industrial site and to bring jobs and a stronger tax base to Montgomery County, according to Russ Smitley, vice president of marketing.
“I am excited about this expansion of Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway in Candor,” said State Rep. Justin Burr. “I look forward to future growth opportunities to help the economy of the town and of Montgomery County. I think they’ll find they made an excellent decision to locate in Candor.”
This project was made possible in part by NC Department of Transportation funding through the NC Legislature. This financial assistance is dedicated for rail projects in North Carolina that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs. For the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway, this funding will be applied towards the necessary 4,600 feet of new track infrastructure.
Senator Stan Bingham also expressed his excitement for this project saying: “This is great news for Montgomery County! Not only is the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company committed to growth in the rural counties they serve, but they are creating good-paying, skilled jobs. The Montgomery County Legislative Representatives’ involvement shows that a little can go a long way and can turn an idea into something permanent with lasting positive effects in a distressed county.”
“We are proud to be part of the Montgomery County business community and are excited about not only our business but how we can work with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to attract new rail centric businesses to our property that will result in new jobs and more opportunity to those of us who call Montgomery County home,” Menzies said.
Other partners in the project include Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, Montgomery County, The Town of Candor, Duke Energy Progress, North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.