AAR certifies Vertex Railcar Corp.

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Vertex Railcar Corp. of Wilmington, N.C., has achieved two certifications from the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Following official site audits this fall, AAR representatives certified that the Vertex facility in Wilmington meets AAR Quality Assurance (M-1003) specification and awarded the S-2034 Car Builder Certification.

The M-1003 Quality Assurance Specification is required for all suppliers to the rail industry. “M-1003 certification indicates that Vertex has the appropriate quality management system in place to mass-produce quality railcars,” Vertex said. Additionally, all freight car manufacturers must receive the S-2034 Car Builder Certification, “which indicates that Vertex construction processes and practices meet the appropriate specifications,” the company said.

In the past 12 months, Vertex has entered into a joint partnership with China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR), one of the largest railcar manufacturers in the world; completed one of three production bays at its Wilmington facility; received the two AAR certifications; hired nearly 200 people; built its first hopper cars; and completed a rail spur to move completed cars out of the facility. “This year was a big year for Vertex, one of growth and opportunity,” said Vertex CEO Donald Croteau. “We transformed an abandoned manufacturing facility into a state-of-the-art railcar manufacturing operation, and produced our first railcars in North Carolina. We achieved our most critical goal for 2015—certification to proceed with mass production of freight cars at Vertex in Wilmington.”

Vertex said it “continues to scale operations and outfit its facility as the company pursues certifications to build additional types of railcars. With current orders totaling more than 3,000 cars, the Vertex team is optimizing its hopper car manufacturing operation with the goal of producing three to four cars per day in early 2016. Hiring will continue at Vertex throughout 2016 as the company takes orders and works toward its overall goal of producing 8,000 cars per year.”

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