RSA takes control of Colbert County railcar plant - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

RSA takes control of Colbert County railcar plant

By Nick Lough - bio | email

COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) – Help is on the way for a financially-troubled Colbert County railcar plant.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama has taken control of National Alabama Corporation.

National Alabama Railcar was previously owned by Canadian-based National Industries, Inc.

Colbert County leaders said this new direction will help put National Alabama on the right track. 

"We really have the flexibility to implement that business plan that will help make the company the long term success it will be," said CEO John Stein.

Three years ago, National Industries decided to expand its operations to western Colbert County.

RSA loaned National Industries $350 million to build the mile-long railcar plant with the hope that it would bring up to 1,800 jobs to the Shoals, but the company didn't foresee how hard the railcar industry would be hit by the bad economy.

Colbert County District Five Commissioner Roger Creekmore said he's hoping with the strong financial backing of the RSA, National Alabama can start building railcars and create more jobs.

Creekmore said they are waiting for the demand for rolling stock to improve in the country, and that is why the announcement that Dr. David Bronner and the RSA has taken control over National Alabama Corporation is so important.

"Dr. Bronner and his resourcefulness, he may find a way to use those resources for the short term or even the long term in some areas that may not be rail car manufacturing," Creekmore said.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama has provided financing to Raycom Media, the corporate parent of WAFF-TV.

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