Four years ago, ACF Industries
closed its railcar manufacturing facility in Milton, a victim of the recession and declining sales.
Now the more-than-100-year-old company has reopened the plant, hiring 230 employees. ACF expects to create a total of 333 jobs in the next three years, according to the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development
Gov. Corbett spoke at the plant’s reopening earlier this month, attributing it to the state’s “booming energy sector [which] has led to an increase for demand in railcars to transport goods.”
DCED said that railcars manufactured in Milton will be shipped to gas fields in the Dakotas and Canada and used to carry crude oil to refineries across the country, including in Philadelphia.
Corbett noted that three Philadelphia refineries were saved last year. “Making sure that those refineries stayed open didn't just save jobs, it opened up opportunities not directly related to refining and the proof is right here … at this rail yard in Milton,” he said.
DCED said that because of the increased extraction of propane from Marcellus Shale and continued growth in the natural gas industry, ACF is making plans to begin manufacturing propane tanks at the Milton location by the end of the year.
DCED also said that ACF chose to reopen in Milton, rather than elsewhere in the United States because, as a large natural gas consumer itself, the low cost of energy in Pennsylvania was a draw.
ACF, headquartered in Missouri, was formed in 1899 as the American Car and Foundry Company. Over the decades, it has made cars for New York City’s then-fledgling subway system and the London Underground and materiel for use in World War I and II.
Besides Milton, it also has a manufacturing plant in Huntington, West Virginia.
Writer: Elise Vider