WARREN - As need for local rail service steadily increases, a railcar service company this month opened a new location in Warren.
Appalachian Railcar Services, a rail services organization based in Eleanor, W.Va., with customers in 13 states throughout the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest regions, opened a more than 200,000-square-foot location in the Warren Depot, Pine Street Extension, Warren.
The facility will offer on-site railcar maintenance, repair work and other mobile crew services. The Warren site also offers warehouse storage, is equipped with scales equipped to weigh both trucks and railcars and is available for trans-loading.
The Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber assisted ARS with site selection services and a variety of local resources as they ramped up at their new location.
The company will start with fewer than 10 employees locally, but has potential for growth as business contracts there increase, according to the chamber.
"As the need for rail access rapidly increases throughout our region, it is vitally important that we can meet the overall needs of this industry. The variety of services offered by ARS does just that," said Sarah Boyarko, Regional Chamber Vice President for Economic Development, Business Retention and Expansion.
Boyarko said she has seen a steady uptick in requests from potential businesses for access to rail. She attributed the increased return to reliance on rail service to rising costs associated with other types of transportation.
''Anderson Dubose is a perfect example,'' Boyarko said, noting the McDonald's restaurant distributor, which last year relocated its 155,000-square-foot facility to Lordstown's Ohio Commerce Center, uses refrigerated rail cars to transport food products in and out.
''Several of the projects we are working on will need rail, so we have to be able to respond accordingly and have a variety of options in it,'' Boyarko said.