Partners Mull Second Railcar Castings Purchase

Ohio Castings looking at Alliance foundry

Ohio Castings Co., a joint-venture of Greenbrier Co., Lake Oswego, OR, and ACF Industries, St. Charles, MO, is making a bid to buy the American Steel Foundries operation in, Alliance, OH. American Steel Foundries is a holding of ASF-Keystone, Chicago, a division of Amsted Industries. Greenbrier builds new railroad freight cars; ACF Industries Holding Corp. manufactures and leases railcars.

In June, Ohio Castings agreed with ASF-Keystone and Meridian Rail Products to take over operation of Meridian's foundry in Cicero, IL, which had been scheduled for closure. It will operate as Chicago Castings and, like the Alliance operation, is a supplier of railcar castings. It manufacture side frames and bolsters for ASF-Keystone, which plans to retail these parts to it customers, including ACF and Greenbrier.

The partnership first came together late last year in an effort to takeover the Columbus Steel Castings operation in Columbus, OH, which was then known as Buckeye Steel and was in the process of going out of business. The current owners of Columbus Steel purchased the operation at a bankruptcy auction in February.

Until mid 2002 the ASF plant in Alliance manufactured railroad car couplings, as the Columbus operation does.

The decision on the purchase of the 148,000-ft2 Alliance plant will come in October. Local and state officials offered tax incentives to interested buyers of the plant, which employed almost 500 when it was idled.

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