Expansion of VAE Nortrak in Cheyenne stays right on track

VAE Nortrak Cheyenne Inc., a company that opened its Cheyenne facility in 1997 with the help of Cheyenne LEADS, announced today the opening of its new 37,500-square-foot manufacturing plant in a space previously occupied by the City of Cheyenne. The new facility is directly adjacent to Nortrak’s existing 50,000-square-foot plant built in southern Cheyenne in 1997, where the company manufactures railway trackwork products.

With the addition of this facility, employment in the company’s Cheyenne facilities has grown from less than 100 at the end of 1999 to more than 150 at the present time. Nortrak’s new facility provides employment for specialized welders, machinists and machine operators, where welders finish the plates produced by the new CNC (computer numerically controlled) equipment. The process produces finished plates considerably faster than Nortrak’s previous method. Therefore, it allows the company to supply its plants in Birmingham, Ala., and Richmond (Vancouver) Canada, with plates made in the state-of-the-art Cheyenne facility.

“With this new manufacturing facility in place, we are able to be more efficient and cost-effective when serving our customers,” said Garry Brodziak, General Manager of Nortrak Cheyenne. Customers include Union Pacific Railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Canadian National Railway Company.

Lease agreement negotiations between Nortrak and the City of Cheyenne began late last year, and were facilitated by Cheyenne LEADS, the local economic development corporation. “This agreement resulted in a ‘win-win’ situation for all entities,” said Cheyenne Mayor Leo Pando. “The space, which was previously underutilized by the City for storage, now generates annual cash income to the City while creating about 50 new jobs.”

“We are very pleased with the cooperation from all of the city officials who worked on this project,” said Al Tuningley, President of Nortrak. “This partnership signifies Nortrak’s commitment to the community and furthermore, is a major investment in this community.”

Nortrak Cheyenne has rapidly grown since its inception three years ago. With the new plate shop, the Cheyenne plant will have almost 10 times its original workforce. Due to the complexity of the plate work, Nortrak implemented a specialized training program in January for welders, machinists and machine operators with assistance from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colo. Additionally, the new facility houses a specialized training classroom.

VAE Nortrak Cheyenne Inc. is a subsidiary of VAE Nortrak North America Inc., owned by Tuningley Holdings Ltd., of British Columbia and VAE Aktiengesellschaft, of Austria. The Austrian VAE group is the largest manufacturer of trackwork in the free enterprise world with more than 125 years of experience. In addition to the Cheyenne facility, VAE’s North America operations has manufacturing plants in Birmingham, Ala., and Richmond (Vancouver) Canada, as well as numerous sales offices throughout North America. VAE factories are also located in Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, South Africa and Spain.