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Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Railcar repair company opening Benton Co. facility

photo provided

Appalachian Railcar Services (ARS) will create up to 22 new positions by 2015. Executives say hiring begins next month.

The company plans to construct an 8,000 square-foot building – completed before the end of the year – in Earl Park at 700 North U.S. 41. The property already had abandoned tracks owned by the Norfolk-Southern Railroad.

Terry Hicks, vice president of sales and marketing, says the structure will allow four to six railcars under roof at one time.

“(We do) minor repairs, major repairs on railcars that can be done outside as well, so we’ll be working inside and out,” he says. “The way we’re going to construct the building is in a way that we can add to it in the future.”

The facility will be the company’s fourth in the state. Hicks says they chose the site because of its access to multiple Class-One railroads, which is something clients wanted.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is providing financial assistance for a new company in Benton County. The $127,500 pledged is based on the job creation projections and depends on ARS fulfilling that promise.

Hicks says the majority of the jobs will be general laborers with welding experience.

“We’ll cross-train a few of those to be able to switch the railcars around using the equipment we’ll have onsite.”

He says the positions pay the industry rate, so they will be competitive wages.

“We’re excited to be in Benton County,” says Hicks. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us.”