Rail One Opens in Clinton

April  29, 2014

      Production has started at the newest employer in Clinton. This morning, state and local officials celebrated the first load of concrete railroad ties made by Rail One. 

      Chief executive officer, Jochen Riepl, says Rail One has been trying for a long time to break into the US market. And once it signed a contract with the Union Pacific Railroad, it began looking for suitable sites.  Clinton is on the  U-P main line, for easy delivery, but just as important is the nearby availability of  suitable raw materials - sand and gravel. 

      "To figure out how they react with each other and whether they get the strength of concrete we're looking for. Not making any chemical reactions that would lose the strength of the concrete over time."

      Reipl says concrete rail ties last much longer than wood. 

      "You can easily find concrete ties all over Europe with a lifetime of more than 3o years. I just saw some in the German rail network stamped with the year 1958, which is more than 50 years."

      Rail One expects to produce 600,000 concrete ties per year in Clinton - starting with a workforce of about 30, at full capacity the new plant will employ 65. 

      Based in Germany, Rail One employs more than 700 people in 8 countries, including Romania, Spain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. And now the US.