Vossloh invests in production of turnouts for US rail market
German technology company Vossloh Group has invested 6 million Dollars (around 5.3 million Euros) in Cleveland Track Material, its manufacturing facility in Memphis, state of Tennessee. The money was allocated for acquirement and installation of new equipment as well as for hiring new staff.
After upgrading, the Memphis facility was reopened last week. Cleveland Track Material is specialised in producing the turnout systems. It was expanded thanks to the seven-year Jobs PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) compensation provided by the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis and Shelby County. The installed equipment allows Vossloh’s subsidiary to increase its production capabilities. “We’ll machine it, drill it, bend it, to manufacture everything in the turn out — that’s what enables a train to go from one track to another,” noted plant manager Tony Krasovic to the local newspaper The Daily Memphian.
The investment was caused by the increased demand for the turnout systems for the U.S. rail sector. Besides the equipment, Vossloh also invested in the creation of 51 new jobs at the plant (now the company’s staff consists of 20 people). New employees will be hired in several stages during two years. According to Mr Krasovic, Cleveland Track Material is currently identifying the urgent needs and composing lists of positions for the future hire campaigns.
Moreover, Cleveland Track Material will train new staff to operate new equipment such as CNC Drill. This machine is capable to drill precise holes in rails. Every rail requires different hole patterns. “It is seldom you find somebody skilled who exactly knows how to operate it. Training on the job is one thing, but dedicated is another. Once we are there, we’ll bring in staff from other locations for cross-training,” said Vossloh North America’s COO Jens Findel.
Vossloh facilities in US
Memphis is a very important centre for the U.S. rail sector. It is one of only four cities in the entire country served by five Class 1 railways. Cleveland Track Material will join two other Vossloh’s facilities in the USA that are focused on manufacturing the turnout systems – in Cleveland, Ohio, (where the headquarter of Cleveland Track Material is located) and Reading, Pennsylvania. Cleveland Track Material produces turnouts, crossings and specialised trackwork for complex rail intersections and supplies them to the entire United States as well to Canada.
Besides the turnout facilities in Cleveland, Memphis and Reading, Vossloh has a well-developed network of the production sites across the U.S. Rocla Concrete Tie, the group’s subsidiary specialised in production of concrete ties and concrete crossing panels has seven sites: in Denver and Pueblo (Colorado), Amarillo (Texas), Bear (Delaware), Fort Pierce (Florida), Sciotoville (Ohio), Tucson (Arizona). Vossloh Signaling operates the facility in Grass Valley, California, Vossloh Fastening Systems America – in Chicago, Illinois, the Mining Division of Vossloh Track Material in St. Albans, West Virginia (it manufactures the turnout systems for the mining industry).