Ohio Castings Set to Buy Alliance Foundry

Oct. 14, 2003
Rebounding demand cited in railcar market

The Ohio Castings consortium has agreed to buy the ASF foundry in Alliance, OH, and will add it to the organization that bought the ASF foundry in Cicero, IL, earlier this year. Alliance Castings Co. will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Ohio Castings and produce side frames and bolsters for ASF-Keystone, which will market these railroad car components to ACF Industries and The Greenbriar Cos., among other manufacturers of rail cars and related equipment.

All three companies – ACF, ASF-Keystone, and Greenbriar – are the joint-venture partners that formed and own Ohio Castings Co. L.L.C. ASF owns the property, but idled it in 2002 citing slack demand for railcars.

Demand is now said to have rebounded, and castings for the industry are said to be in short supply. The new owners announced they will restart the plant in December.

Jim Unger, vice chairman of ACF Industries, LLC, said, "This is an important step in providing the railcar building industry with a stable supply base of castings manufacturers. The current shortage of castings is costing the industry millions of dollars in lost production and delayed shipments."

Greenbriar president and CEO William A. Furman, adds, "This acquisition brings some badly needed structural stability to our industry. The castings supply base was literally facing collapse a year ago and the consequences of that for the railcar industry would have been disastrous. This partnership has been working extremely well at our Cicero facility and the addition of the Alliance foundry will provide much needed stability to the castings sector."

The Greenbrier Cos., Lake Oswego, OR, builds new railroad freight cars and repairs and refurbishes freight cars and wheels at 13 plants in North America. Its plant in Poland refurbishes freight cars for European lines, and Greenbrier owns or manages a fleet of about 49,000 railcars.

ACF Industries Holding Corp. builds and leases of railcars, along with its foundry operations.

ASF-Keystone, a division of Amsted Industries, is diversified manufacturer of products for the railroad, vehicular, and the construction markets.