Ohio Foundry Coming Back to Life

March 9, 2004
Former ASF plant returning to railcar market

Ohio Castings L.L.C., the Alliance, OH, foundry acquired by a consortium in order to supply railcar manufacturers, has restarted and been in operation since late 2003. Production of railcar sideframes and bolsters entered the full commercial stage in January after the products achieved certification by the Assn. of American Railroads.

The plant was closed about two years ago by the former owner, American Steel Foundries.

The new owners of the foundry are Greenbrier Co., Lake Oswego, OR, and ACF Industries, St. Charles, MO. ACF manufactures and leases railcars; Greenbriar builds new railroad freight cars. State and local governments contributed a total of $12 million in loans, grants, bonds, and other incentives to buy the complex and restart it. The new owners invested $5 million.

Production is ramping up to about half capacity of four heats/day by the end of the first quarter; at full capacity, six to seven heats/day, Ohio Castings will be producing 10,000 sets of bolsters and sideframes annually.

According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, the restarted plant will employ 240. The city of Alliance is foregoing 50% of the employee's city income tax for 10 years in order to secure and maintain the operation. About 95% of the employees are former employees of American Steel Foundries.