Harsco Rail Re-opens Ludington Facility
Harsco Rail executives held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 5 to celebrate the re-opening of the Ludington manufacturing facility on South Jackson Road. The plant had been closed since 2019, displacing a number of UAW workers in Pere Marquette Township; however, 25 union employees have been called back, and more are expected to return to work in the coming months.
Harsco Rail builds a variety of railroad construction and track maintenance vehicles. The company provides equipment and services to numerous freight and main-line passenger railroads and rail transit systems around the world.
Those in attendance on Thursday viewed a demonstration of a multi-purpose, stone-blower prototype that Harsco manufactured for the maintenance of railways across the globe. The stone blower was built at Harsco’s Columbia, SC facility and will be an integral part of the North American Harsco organization, according to Harsco President Claus Heuschmid, who traveled here from Germany for the ceremony.
Twenty-three stone blowers have been built in the U.S. since the 1990s, but this state-of-the-art prototype is an upgraded version that can hold 16 tons of stone. Lead engineer Brian Andersen explained that air is used to force stone under a rail to make a new bed – ensuring that the rail is level and trains may travel safely. The stone blower can complete work on 400m of track per hour.
Machines are designed and built in the U.S., and Harsco employs 200 workers who operate and maintain them in the United Kingdom, quality manager Mike Basler said.
To learn more about Harco Rail, visit harscorail.com.