RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that 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.
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 Rails 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 facilitys 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 Governors 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 companys employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
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 Railcars stability and growth continues to fuel the communitys 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.