New rail spur operational at Brownsville Marine
With certification by Norfolk Southern, a new rail spur leading into Brownsville Marine Products is ready for use.
Tim Scheib, president and CEO of Brownsville Marine Products, said company officials are awaiting the first rail car on that spur, which can handle six cars loaded with steel at one time.
The rail spur will be used to transport steel to the site. As part of the overall expansion at the site, it was aimed at improving efficiency and safety.
“We, in the past, had all of our steel brought in by truck,” Scheib said. “This takes hundreds of trucks off the roads so it's a win-win situation.”
Brownsville Marine Products was recently awarded a $250,000 grant for the rail spur and conveyor system. It was a part of $8 million in grants for rail improvement projects in southwestern Pennsylvania announced late last week by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. PennDOT announced $18.6 million in grants for like projects statewide.
In addition, Three Rivers Marine and Rail Terminal, based in Rostraver Township, received $303,000 for new and rehabilitated track.
Alumisource also received a $355,00 grant to reestablish a rail connection between the Monessen facility and a nearby CSX rail line.
In both cases, the improvements would permit transportation of raw materials by rail rather than truck, said state Rep. R. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen.
Harhai said with gas so costly, rail provides a less-expensive mode of transportation than shipping materials by truck.
“They employ people and the more things they can do, the more people they can employ and that's good for everyone,” Harhai said.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration awarded an $877,940 Assistance to Small Shipyards grant to the Brownsville firm. The company used the funding to help purchase an automated, horizontal blast and coating system.
The expansion addressed a bottleneck at the prep area of the barge-production facility, where the firm blasts, paints and cuts steel.
The grant was Brownsville Marine Products' second Maritime Administration grant, having previously received $532,226 in 2008 to buy a crane.
Those grants also helped fund the company's expansion efforts. Scheib said the expansion, begun last fall at the site, is now complete.
In addition to making the facility more efficient, it has also helped it to expand. Employment is now at 340, up about 40 from a year ago. And the company is continuing to hire, Scheib said.
Brownsville Marine is relatively new to the area, having begun production in 2006.
But the site is a familiar part of the Brownsville landscape as the site of the former Hillman Barge Co.
Established in 1938 by John Hillman Jr., the facility operated as Hillman Barge Co. until 1985, when it was sold to Trinity Industries. In 1995, the barge-making facility closed.
Brownsville Marine Products took possession in November 2005.
The Brownsville site is one of only three inland river barge yards in the nation. The others are located along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman dies after bleeding on sidewalk outside Carrick pizzeria
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Starkey: Flashback Friday for Pitt
- Nuclear crossroad: California reactors face uncertain future
- Puppy, pals come to rescue of Lower Burrell firefighters
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Republicans roll dice as Trump headlines Pennsylvania Society event
- Pitt falls flat in finale loss to Miami