Monday, July 21, 2014

GBW Railcar Services marks official launch

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The Greenbrier Cos., Inc. and Watco Cos. LLC announced Monday, July 21, 2014, that they "have completed formation of their 50/50 railcar repair joint venture creating the largest independent railcar repair shop network in North America. The new joint venture, called GBW Railcar Services, LLC (GBW), owns and operates the combined network of 38 railcar repair, refurbishment and maintenance shops of Greenbrier and Watco."

GBW's network of facilities located across North America features 14 tank car repair shops certified by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) as required by federal regulations. GBW expects to service "almost the entire range of railcar types in North America," the companies said.

The parent companies first announced their intent to establish GBW in early June.

"GBW will be ready to deliver unparalleled quality, value and service to our Customers," said Watco CEO Rick Webb. "We have been investing in our shops, and we will continue to invest in the GBW shops to match our customers' expectations."

GBW will be led by rail industry veteran, CEO Jim Cowan.

"We are excited that our first day at GBW is here as we commence operations with the support of Greenbrier and Watco, two rail industry leaders," Cowan said. "GBW responds to interests from our existing Customers for access to the broadest tank car expertise available in the market, along with substantial general railcar repair capability delivered through an efficient and geographically convenient service platform. Safety, quality, and customer service are GBW's core values as we move ahead."

Said Greenbrier Chairman and CEO William A. Furman, "GBW's retrofit solutions can make tank cars safer at any speed. We welcome this new venture with Watco as an opportunity to advance both public safety and environmental protection while strengthening the North American tank car fleet for decades of safe and efficient service."

Furman added, "The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is expected to imminently issue new tank car design standards, likely accompanied by related retrofit requirements. We urge DOT to avoid further delay and act now. Together, with an improved tank car design standard like Greenbrier's Tank Car of the Future, we can protect people and the environment and preserve the North American energy renaissance."