FreightCar America to close Roanoke, Va., shop

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ROANOKE, Va. — A major railcar manufacturer says it will close a historic plant in Virginia and eliminate of hundreds of jobs.

FreightCar America says it plans to close its car manufacturing plant in the former Norfolk & Western East End Shops this fall. The company, according to a Roanoke Times news report, plans to consolidate its Roanoke operations into its plant in Cherokee, Ala. The newspaper reports that about 200 jobs will be eliminated, and the mayor of Roanoke says the cuts are permanent with no planned call-back.

The closure is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 11, the paper reports, concluding 14 years of operations for FreightCar America in the East End Shops. The company cites a decline in railcar orders for the closure of the Roanoke shops, and it will save about $5 million per year by consolidating the manufacturing with the Alabama plant. Job cuts are scheduled to begin Sept. 20, the Roanoke Times reports.

The Times reports that FreightCar America reported a loss of more than $14 million in the first quarter of this year. The paper reports that the company saw a drop of nearly 5% in the number of cars it delivered last year from the previous year.

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