The Greenbrier Companies Inc., an international supplier of railcars and marine barges, announced Wednesday (Aug. 7) it’s investing about $16 million in the company’s Marmaduke facility to support future growth. As part of the expansion, the company plans to create at least 35 new jobs within one year, adding to the current 850 employees at the facility.
“When Greenbrier acquired American Railcar Industries, we knew the Marmaduke operations would help us deliver on three key parts of our strategic plan,” William A. Furman, chairman and CEO said. “First, strengthening our core North American engineering and manufacturing business. Next, growing our operations at scale in new and existing markets; and lastly, extending our talent base. The expansion of our facility in Marmaduke will further position Greenbrier for continued growth for many years to come.”
In April, Greenbrier announced it was acquiring American Railcar Industries (ARI). The acquisition was completed last month. ARI opened its hopper railcar assembly factory in Paragould in 1995, the first major railcar assembly plant in the company’s manufacturing network. The company’s Marmaduke facility opened four years later to produce tank railcars.
In 2009, a joint venture axle and manufacturing facility, Axis LLC, began operations in Paragould, and an ARI railcar component subsidiary, Corbitt Manufacturing, opened a plant in Paragould in 2016.
“Even though Greenbrier is new to Arkansas, the company already has a rich presence here through American Railcar, and I am delighted to see that relationship continue,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “This investment will go a long way in improving the lives of many Northeast Arkansas families, and we are proud to be a part of the company’s success.”
The investment announced builds on ARI’s $10.5 million expansion in 2015 for improvements to its Marmaduke facility and acquisition of new equipment. At that time, the company also announced 75 new jobs would be created.
“ARI has been a great corporate citizen in Marmaduke for many years, and we are excited that Greenbrier plans on continuing with the partnership,” said Marmaduke Mayor Steve Dixon. “We have a world-class workforce that has played an integral role in ARI’s success, and we are confident that we will do the same for Greenbrier.”
ARI traces its history to 1864 when Milton Car Works was formed in Milton, Pennsylvania, by Murray, Dougal and Company, to build some of the world’s first tank cars. After 130 years of acquisitions, American Railcar Industries Inc. was formed in 1994.