Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Follow-up On American Railcar

I posted back in February about the American Railcar Industries (ARII) efforts to expand the country’s rail infrastructure and the increase of passenger rail. It appears that they have been busier than I thought.

American Railcar expanded their plant in Marmaduke in 2007-08, probably on the anticipation of an increase in rail traffic that did not materialize. Instead it moved the other way with the beginnings of the current economic recession, the expansion was downsized and operations consolidated. However they did leave themselves in a good position to think “outside the box”.

ARII is now one of four Arkansas businesses receiving stimulus money for clean energy manufacturing and will be reconfiguring the plant to produce structural towers for large scale wind turbines. Combined with others in the state, they will now be able to configure complete wind generating systems.

Kentucky, on the other hand, is continuing to push coal and the immense carbon footprint that it carries along with the environmental damage created by its mining. If Arkansas can transition into a cleaner type of industry then so can Kentucky.

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