More jobs will be coming to a Washington operation as a result of a major national expansion. Eagle Railcar, which operates the rail shop on the west side of Washington, has announced the purchase of the Rescar Facilities nationwide.

The agreement is to acquire the assets and personnel of Rescar Companies’ Plant Services Division. This purchase adds five full-service railcar repair and maintenance facilities to Eagle’s current network, bringing the total facility count to 10. With the Rescar acquisition, Eagle Railcar Services’ network of 10 plant locations will employ almost 1,200 full-time personnel. Eagle Railcar Services intends to increase the number of employees in each of its 10 markets to support planned growth.

“This did not come as any surprise for us at the Eagle operation here in Washington,” said plant manager Harry Dominguez. “We knew they were in talks with Rescar. When we got the word it was done it was like, cool we are now part of the biggest railcar rebuilding company in the country.”

Even with the new additions, the Washington operation is in a strategically strong position.

“Just by the geography, we are one of the more northern based operations within the company,” said Dominguez.

The Washington operation will continue to expand even with the aquistition of the Rescar facilities. Since taking over the shops in November of 2016, Eagle Railcar has grown and expanded. Currently there are 126 employees with plans to go to 160 people working two shifts by the end of the year.

“We are looking for painters, welders, people who are mechanically inclined,” said Dominguez. “We have recently completed construction of new blast and paint booths and that opened the way for the hiring of more people.”

The news of the expansion both locally and nationally was welcome for community leaders in Washington.

“This announcement is incredibly positive for Eagle Railcar as a company and a brand, and certainly bodes well for their location here in Washington,” said Bryant Neihoff, executive director for the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. “We have been in contact with leadership at Eagle, and they assure us that this acquisition will continue to create opportunities for the Washington facility as well as their other locations across the country.”

“Eagle Railcar will now be the biggest company of its kind in the country,” added Washington Mayor Joe Wellman. “The additional hiring is good from a couple of standpoints. One, from the workers who will be able to land jobs there, and secondly, it makes this section of rail more valuable to CSX because they will need the line to move the cars into and out of the operation.”

The relationship between the CSX line and the Eagle Railcar operation is one that can have a big impact on the future of the plant in Washington.

“Getting the cars in here is a key to us doing more work and adding more people,” said Dominguez. “If we can get the cars moving in and out, we could even be adding a third shift and more jobs in the future.”

Wellman says he feels very positive about the Eagle Railcar acquisition of Rescar.

“Anytime you have a company that is here, that’s expanding, not just here but in other places, that’s good news,” he said. “It generally means they are successful which means they will be here longer.”

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