Small-Road Briefs: NCRR, OmniTRAXWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) is investing approximately $200,000 in a new rail-served site, where a wood-products manufacturing facility will be built. Also, OmniTRAX affiliate Winchester and Western Railroad (W&W) will serve a planned West Virginia steel mill.
Sumitomo Forestry America is building a manufacturing and distribution facility in Archdale, N.C., to be served by Norfolk Southern (NS). It will produce building materials, such as roof trusses, floor trusses, and wall panels, for use in residential housing and wooden commercial and multi-family buildings, according to the state of North Carolina, which will help facilitate the project, in part, through a Job Development Investment Grant. The facility will include a 120,000-square-foot manufacturing space and a 38,000-square-foot outside storage building.
Sumitomo Forestry America “requires the installation of a new main line turnout and a rail siding for the unloading of raw wood materials,” according to NCCC, which will assist with construction through the investment made by its economic development initiative, NCRR Invests. “The new rail modifications will increase activity by 364 additional railcars each year.”
Sumitomo Forestry America, headquartered in Addison, Tex., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd., a Nikkei-listed forestry company founded in 1691 and headquartered in Tokyo. Another wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Forestry America, Charlotte, N.C.-based Crescent Communities, will help develop and build the new production facility, which is expected to employ 129 people.
“We look forward to partnering with North Carolina on the development of this facility, which will not only help builders and developers with supply chain needs, but also will contribute to the local economy and community,” Sumitomo Forestry America President Atsushi Iwasaki said. “Randolph County, N.C., offers the ideal conditions for our investment, including infrastructure, a skilled workforce and a favorable business climate. We greatly appreciate the community’s warm welcome and will continue to share updates as the project progresses.”
“NCRR is excited for the opportunity to contribute to an effort including Randolph County, city of Archdale, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and many others who made this amazing opportunity a reality,” NCRR President and CEO Carl Warren said. “Partnerships like these are critical in the creation of new jobs and retention of existing employment.”
Additional project partners include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Golden LEAF Foundation, and Randolph County Economic Development Corporation.
W&W on Dec. 8 reported signing an agreement to serve Commercial Metals Company’s (CMC) latest steel mill in West Virginia. Steel reinforcing bar (rebar)-manufacturer CMC has selected Falling Waters, W.Va., for the mill, which is projected to open in late 2025 and generate more than 200 jobs.
The CMC project was a collaborative economic development effort of OmniTRAX, state of West Virginia leaders, and Berkeley County, W.Va., officials, according to OmniTRAX, which said “W&W supplemented a state and county incentive package with a custom rail service agreement and additional infrastructure investments. …” W&W’s Virginia Division, which has two lines covering 53 miles of track, will serve the mill. (W&W also has a New Jersey Division.)
“The new CMC mill exemplifies the power of pairing rail and real estate together,” OmniTRAX CEO Dean Piacente said.