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Newly Created Rail Hub in Louisville, Mississippi Attracts Business and Jobs

The city of Louisville, Mississippi's decision to purchase a former timber company plant to create a transportation hub in rural Winston County is beginning to pay off in the form of a job creation announcement.

Louisville Railcar Repair, a manufacturer and repairer of rail cars, will build a $1.3 million repair, paint and welding facility that will employ about 30 workers at the site. The company repairs, refurbishes and services railroad cars that have been involved in train accidents, as well as those that need replacement parts due to metal fatigue or failing federal inspection.

"We are excited about the opportunity to locate our business in Winston County. We expect to hire about 30 people, and we look forward to meeting new people during this process. We previously had a company in Meridian and after researching the possibilities, we felt Winston County fit our needs," said Ronald McDevitt, Louisville Railcar Repair owner.

In 2011, the City of Louisville purchased the former Richton Tie and Timber Company property to create the transload rail facility. The Mississippi Development Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission provided incentives and assistance for infrastructure improvements and site preparation.

The rail hub enables area industrial firms to load and unload goods being shipped on the Kansas City Railroad with greater ease and less expense. "Louisville's concept of a city creating a transload facility is the first of its kind along the Kansas City Southern system, and it serves as a model for smaller communities looking to reuse outdated rail sites," a spokesman for the Mississippi Development Authority said.

"I am pleased to see this transload rail facility attracting new businesses to Louisville, and I am grateful to Louisville Railcar Repair for its investment in the area and its workforce," said Jim Barksdale, Mississippi Development Authority interim executive director.

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