Rail Investment means Jobs for Ohioans
More than 26,000 Ohio employees already tied to railroad industry
COLUMBUS (Thursday, March 25, 2010) - At least 225 Ohio businesses located across the state already benefit from investments made by the railroad industry, according to new research by the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
With more than 26,000 employees currently, many of those companies are gearing up for more work as part of the growing national reinvestment in passenger and freight rail, according to industry experts.
“This demonstrates that moving people and freight by rail means more to Ohio than just the trains rolling through town”, said ORDC Chairman James Bradley, who is also a retired CEO from Wheeling-Pitt Steel.
“I know a lot about the supply chain from my years as an executive in the steel industry in Ohio”, said Bradley, who believes Ohio may soon see even more rail-related business and jobs as demand grows for passenger and freight rail equipment.
While much of the public attention in Ohio focuses on the 3C “Quick Start” - a proposed 79 mile-per-hour passenger rail service connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Springfield, Dayton and Cincinnati - the ODOT/ORDC research shows that companies throughout the state, not just along the 3C corridor, stand to benefit from increased investment in rail.
The list of companies include industrial leaders such as Canton-based Timken Roller Bearing, major construction contractors, medium-sized companies that install track or crossing signals, and smaller businesses that provide goods and services to Amtrak.
Of the companies that offered employment numbers, the research identified at least 26,000 workers in Ohio - roughly the same as the population of the city of Chillicothe.
“Across the country there is a growing demand for new equipment and that’s good news for Ohio’s rail-connected supply chain and the many Ohioans who work for these companies, including Wheeling-Pitt Steel,” said Bradley.
Other industry experts see the potential as well. Dennis Harwig, Business Development Director for Columbus-based EWI (Edison Welding Institute), believes there’s significant growth potential in the passenger rail manufacturing market.
“The current urban rail market for passenger trains has averaged near $1.5 billion nationally for the last several years,” said Harwig. “Current projections indicate a $2-$3 billion market within the next 2 to 5 years, which grows to $4 to $5 billion as the national High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail and Amtrak Fleet Replacement programs mature, and more urban rail systems come on line.”
The list of Ohio’s rail-related contractors and suppliers, as well as a map showing where the companies are located across the state, is available at http://3CisMe.ohio.gov, the state’s online source for information about passenger rail.
For more information, contact:
Stu Nicholson, Ohio Rail Development Commission, at (614) 644-0513
or Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at (614) 644-8640.
or visit the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Plan, at: http://3Cisme.ohio.gov
(please note there is no ‘www’ in front of the website address)