Business New Brunswick

Government supports rebirth of rail industry in Moncton (09/12/07)

NB 1942

Dec. 7, 2009

MONCTON (CNB) - The provincial government is helping to create at least 250 rail car manufacturing jobs at Industrial Rail Services Inc. in Moncton, Premier Shawn Graham announced today.

"I am very proud to support this project, which will restore Moncton's role as a rail manufacturing hub for Canada," said Graham. "Creating a low-cost environment is key to growing our economy toward self-sufficiency. This investment, along with our plan for lower taxes, will allow Industrial Rail Services Inc. to grow and thrive in this region over the long term."

The provincial government is providing Industrial Rail Services Inc. with financial assistance totalling $22.5 million to maintain 33 jobs and create a minimum of 250 additional positions at its Moncton facility. The investment will allow the company to expand this facility and provide working capital for its large contracts.

The assistance includes:

Industrial Rail Services Inc. has won a large contract to refurbish Via Rail's Light, Rapid and Comfort (LRC) passenger coach fleet. This project will involve a complete overhaul of 98 passenger coaches during the next four years. The company will also make 21 of Via Rail's Renaissance passenger cars wheelchair-accessible.

The retrofit of the LRC fleet will entail designing and engineering the refurbishment; stripping and replacing rail car interiors and exteriors; replacing electrical and ventilation systems, water and toilets, brakes and compressed air; and testing the revamped coaches.

The work will be done at Industrial Rail Service Inc.'s Moncton facility, located on CN main line, adjacent to the Moncton Industrial Park and the Humpyard Road.

The company bought the 13,200-sq.-metre facility and railyard from CN in 1999, and it rehired former Canadian National workers to work on smaller rail repair contracts. Canadian National used the railyard during the 1970s and 1980s to service a locomotive fleet of up to 200 units, and, today, it is a well-equipped rail repair and maintenance facility.

Dick Carpenter, chief executive officer of Industrial Rail Services Inc., said the financial assistance will ensure the future success of the rail business in New Brunswick.

"We are grateful that the Government of New Brunswick recognizes the enormous potential for growth on this investment for the people of Moncton and the entire rail manufacturing industry in New Brunswick," said Carpenter. "I am also proud to be able to hire some of the most skilled and qualified engineers and trades workers for the rail and mechanical industry. The skilled workers with their can-do attitude here in Moncton, along with our network of suppliers and subcontractors, gave our company a competitive edge in bidding this contract."

Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau said securing a project of this size and scope will allow Industrial Rail Services Inc. to build industry partnerships within the rail sector, creating new opportunities for suppliers and related small businesses across the province.

"Our plan for lower taxes will help reduce costs for Industrial Rail Service Inc. and all companies seeking to expand in New Brunswick," said Boudreau. "We are pleased to provide Industrial Rail Services Inc. with the support it needs to attract more and bigger projects, employ more New Brunswickers, and create the potential for more exports and greater economic benefit to the province."

09/12/07

MEDIA CONTACTS: Ashley Bursey communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-461-0942, e-mail, ashley.bursey@gnb.ca; Chris Evers, vice-president, Industrial Rail Services Inc., 506-382-2875, e-mail, cevers@industrialrail.ca.

09/12/07