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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Watco completes Alabama training center expansion


Watco officials yesterday marked the completion of a $3 million expansion of the company's Safe Performance Center in Fairfield, Alabama, a training center for Watco railroads and transportation workers.

The new 11,000-square-foot building includes classrooms, a conference room and a locomotive simulation lab. Originally built in 2017, the training center now has a capacity expansion boost in the number of team members who can receive onsite instruction, from 40 per day to 150 per day, Watco officials said in a press release.

As part of the expansion, a confined-space simulator — a tanker car modified for training — was added to a piece of track outside the new building. Its addition allows hands-on confined-space rescue training for Watco employees. First responders will also be able to use the simulator, Watco officials said.

"This expansion is more than just a building; it is an investment in the future of Watco and the Fairfield community," said Watco CEO Dan Smith.

The expansion is expected to deliver more than $1.3 million in annual economic development benefits to the Birmingham area.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/20/2022