“Seventeen years later this railpark has come to fruition. Today is our new era… Today, as far as I’m concerned, our railpark is now open for business.”
For Reipl, Clinton will “get German” among a number of other things. He spoke to how the city has landed the company’s first North American branch, one he called “the most modern rail tie facility in the world.” Clinton’s also getting jobs – over 65 of them.
Important to Reynolds was the $22 million investment in an Iowa community. She joined others on the welcoming wagon by pointing out how a company like RAIL.ONE fittingly chose Clinton.
“Given the heritage of our state, Clinton’s rail history, I find it fitting that RAIL.ONE has chosen this community as its first in the country,” Reynolds said, adding: “Iowa is committed to economic growth.”
Riepl showed Reynolds the facility with workers stationed to demonstrate operations for her. The business has already started manufacturing concrete railroad ties – supports that hold tracks in place. After welcoming speeches, the audience watched the first shipment of ties leave the facility by rail.
Reynolds said the tour impressed her.
The city of Clinton and the Clinton Regional Development Corporation both own acreage within the railpark. CRDC president Mike Kirchhoff said RAIL.ONE is the first of hopefully many job-creating companies that will reside there. While Nevada Railroad Materials continues development nearby, he confirmed Tuesday that a third railpark deal is near finalization.
“We’ve got a number of projects interested in Clinton,” Kirchhoff said. “Four of them are interested in Clinton and one of them is very close. There’s momentum, and the fact that we brought attention (to the state) is exciting.”
As for RAIL.ONE, Riepl said the Germans feel “very at home.”