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Rail News: Mechanical

Union Tank Car to build plant in Louisiana


Earlier this week, Union Tank Car Co. announced plans to build a tank-car manufacturing plant near Alexandria, La., designed to produce about 70 cars per week.

To be completed in 2006, the plant will be located on a 140-plus acre site adjacent to the England Industrial Air Park in Rapides Parish and near a Union Pacific Railroad line, four major state highways and Interstate 49.

"As the economy continues to improve, customer demand will require us to build even more cars," said Union Tank Car President Frank Lester in a prepared statement. "Our ability to increase market share is currently limited by manufacturing capacity."

Union Tank Car officials considered expanding the company's plants in East Chicago, Ind., and Sheldon, Texas, before deciding to build the new facility.

"The Alexandria plant will be an assembly-line operation with cars moving from production station-to-station on rail carts," said Director of Manufacturing Engineering Jim Shirvinski. "We won't lift the tanks with overhead cranes — they will move 'in-line' from the plate roll all the way through paint and decal."