Report: FreightCar America to Close Roanoke Plant

Written by Andrew Corselli

According to a report from WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Va., FreightCar America will soon wrap up the last of its production orders at its Roanoke facility.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise, as rumors of such a move have been swirling for a couple of years now.

David Benson, President of Human Resources, wouldn’t tell WDBJ7 how many staff members were still working in Roanoke. But he said the layoffs would soon be “substantially complete.”

“Some employees will remain to assist with decommissioning the equipment and provide for shipment to our Shoals facility,” Benson told WDBJ7 in an email.

Benson said FreightCar America expects to finish its final order on time, and then will be focused on decommissioning the facility. That will include transferring equipment and preparing the facility to be turned over to the lease holder in early 2020.

“During its 15 years of operation, our Roanoke facility distinguished itself as a high-quality production facility run by skilled and caring employees,” Benson said in a statement from the company regarding the closure. “Because of this the decision that was announced July 22, 2019, was an especially difficult one. We simply had too much manufacturing capacity for the size of our business, and our only practical solution was to consolidate operations at our Muscle Shoals, Ala., facility. The facility in Muscle Shoals is substantially larger, accommodates all car types that we currently offer, and is also where much or our management team is located. We would like to recognize and thank our Roanoke employees for all they have done over the years and in particular for their spirit and hard work during this very difficult time.”

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