The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 24, 2013

Rail car manufacturing may be restarting at ACF in Milton

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— MILTON — Railroad tank-car maker ACF Industries, which closed in February 2009 and furloughed 320 workers, could soon be making railcars for Missouri-based American Railcar Industries, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

American Railcar Industries filed an “entry in material definitive agreement” Jan. 17 with the SEC. The filing stated American Railcar and ACF had reached an agreement in which American Railcar “will provide purchasing support and engineering services to ACF in connection with ACF’s manufacture and sale of certain tank railcars at its facility in Milton.”

The deal ends in December 2014 and gives American Railcar 30 percent of profits earned on each railcar made by ACF, according to the filing.

Representatives for American Railcar and ACF could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Both companies are controlled by well-known investor Carl Icahn, owner of Icahn Industries.

Interest  in the Milton plant has been steady since September, when an Ohio-based investor said he was negotiating to purchase ACF from Ichan Industries.

Dan Slane, CEO of Johnstown Management, said he would have the company focus on manufacturing industrial propane tanks for the natural gas industry.

Neither Slane nor Icahn representatives could be reached for comment on the status of that deal Wednesday.

About 20 maintenance workers have begun preparing the plant for operations, said Bob English, a spokesman for United Steelworkers, who negotiated a contract in October for the plant’s workers.

English said he wasn’t privy to the business dealings of ACF.

“What we know is that there’s going to be some work available at the Milton facility,” he said. “The details of where the work’s coming from, we don’t know.”

ACF Industries shut down operations at its Milton manufacturing plant 46 months ago, citing a lack of work. The plant, which covers several blocks along Route 405, previously made railroad tank cars, most recently to transport ethanol and biodiesel.