POINT PLEASANT — A long dormant place in Point Pleasant’s history has a new lease on life, and a new owner.
For years, the U.S. Navy owned property at 2601 Madison Ave., mostly for storage purposes. About a year and a half ago, “the old Navy yard” as it was known, was purchased by Appalachian Railcar Services which offers rail and river access to clients in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest regions.
Appalachian Railcar Services sits on 87 acres within property now known as the Appalachian Industrial Park. The company also has a 225,000 square-foot warehouse and 18,000 feet of rail on the site of the old Navy yard. The U.S. Navy now leases some of the property for storage. Defense Logistics Agency manages the stockpile of metallurgical ores and other materials for the government. Back in 2011 when the purchase was made, a Charleston newspaper reported that in recent years, materials stored there ranged from cobalt and zinc to ferrochrome and tungsten.
Kurt Higginbotham, president of Appalachian Railcar Services, said the company provides services all over the United States with the corporate office located in Eleanor. The company describes itself as a multi-disciplinary rail services organization. The company, along with two of its affiliates Rail Connection, Inc. and Short Line Services, Inc., offer an assortment of services that include railcar maintenance and repair, short line railroad operations, coal loading and unloading, track maintenance, fleet management, and brokerage services.
Higginbotham recently met with Sen. Mitch Carmichael (R) and Main Street Point Pleasant Director Charles Humphreys, the latter of which helped promote the development of the Appalachian Industrial Park.
Carmichael called the facility “amazing” and a good example of what the private sector has to offer.
“There are some big opportunities here,” Higginbothm said. “It’s a hidden jewel.”
Higginbotham said at this point the company wants to get the word out that it’s there, offering rail access in Mason County.
Appalachian Railcar Services, Inc. currently operates in multiple locations across 14 states. Facilities range from full-service locations to private accounts the company provide services for, to mobile service units ready for specific jobs in short order.
Some specific services provided at the Point Pleasant location include AAR and FRA repairs, program work, wheel change-outs, Rule 88 rebuilds, mobile inspections, mobile services, wreck repair, railcar storage.
For more information on Appalachian Railcar Services call or go to http://www.apprailcar.com.