Blue Ridge Railcar Repair, a subsidiary of Patriot Rail Company, will invest $2.41 million to expand its operations in Charlotte County, Virginia, as part of a project which will create 37 new jobs.
Governor Terry McAuliffe noted, “Blue Ridge Railcar Repair was established in Charlotte County in December 2013, bringing an existing railcar repair facility back into operation and adding jobs and tax revenue to a community that has been hard hit by industry loss. Less than a year later, the company will expand to include railcar cleaning, blasting and painting capabilities to meet increased demand in the marketplace and grow its customer base, bringing an additional 37 new jobs that will pay above the county’s prevailing average wage. The new investment and job opportunities for Southern Virginia are exactly what we need to build a new Virginia Economy, and we look forward to Blue Ridge’s success in Charlotte County in the coming years.”
“The prosperity of existing businesses is vital to economic development in Virginia, and we are proud of Blue Ridge Railcar Repair’s success in Charlotte County in the past year,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “An increasing need for the company’s services in the market is great news, and the facility in Keysville can accommodate the demand with this expansion. We thank Blue Ridge for its investment, and commend Charlotte County on providing a business environment that allows the company to flourish.”
Patriot Rail Company-Patriot Rail is a leading operator of 500 miles of short line railroads and railcar repair facilities in 14 states. It services a diversified customer base, including the chemical, mineral, forest products, timber, paper, manufacturing, grain and foodstuffs industries.
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. The Blue Ridge facility is located 16 miles from the Norfolk Southern Railway 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 Rail’s 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/CEO John Fenton. “We were also attracted to the facility’s 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 worked with Charlotte County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s 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 company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.