Eagle Railcar Services, a provider of rail vehicle repair services, has announced the purchase of the former Watco rail vehicle repair shop in Junction City. With the addition of Junction City, Eagle Railcar Services now has eleven repair facilities located in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Kansas. They employ more than 1,000 people.
In Junction City, EDC Director Mickey Fornaro-Dean noted that Watco had sold its Hoover Road facility north of the city to Texas-based Eagle Railcar Services. “It’s good for this community. Watco is a very good company, great relationships, but that wasn’t a top priority for their company. Eagle Railcar, that’s the top priority for your company.” Fornaro-Dean said it was a specialty for the escort. “That’s what they’re doing and they’re in a growth mode so they’re going to hire and they’re very excited to be here.”
Built in 1974, the Junction City shop originally made new railcars. Covering 66 acres and with more than 5 km of track served by the Union Pacific Railroad and 109,000 square feet of indoor buildings, the facility offers several amenities including blasting and painting booths, 18 mechanical repair stations and a cleaning rack that cleans can drive up to 4 cars at the same time. It is a full service freight car repair shop, M-1003, B25 and B26 certified.
Junction City provides a full range of freight car maintenance and repair services, including maintenance, removal and reapplication of freight car exterior and interior coatings, cleaning of hazardous and non-hazardous material, removal and disposal of excess goods, and Rule 88 B.2 inspection and Repair of freight wagons.
The Junction City store will also offer a range of tank truck services including AAR Field Manual Running/Interchange repairs, hazardous and non-hazardous material cleaning, excess material removal and disposal, disassembly, rebuild and replacement of valves and exterior coatings. Junction City currently has a capacity of 200 cars with short and long term storage. This shop also offers mobile full-service repairs (MRUs) on freight cars and ongoing repairs on tank cars.
Plant manager Eric Franco-Velez began his career at the Junction City plant in 2015 as head of the coatings department with NACE Level III certification. Before becoming Plant Manager, he held positions of increasing responsibility including Wash Rack/PD Supervisor and Operations Manager.
Eagle Railcar Services will significantly upgrade its Junction City facility. Near-term expansion plans include M-1002 certification, a full-service cleaning rack, additional storage lanes, and expanded coating capabilities.