Short line operator Watco recently announced that it facilitated a plant location in Neodesha, Kan., which is in the southwest part of the state.
The company, Sicut Enterprises Ltd., is a London-based manufacturer of railroad ties made of recycled plastic waste such as bottles and food packaging.
Sicut found Neodesha through a property-search website, and decided it may offer strong potential as a U.S. manufacturing location. Watco is well-connected with Neodesha and, working with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), put together a package satisfactory to Sicut requirements, one of which was a rail-served site.
Watco and KDOT worked together to obtain a KDOT economic development grant of $343,000, which will fund a Watco-designed rail spur connecting the plant to the railroad’s nearby South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL).
Chris Goodwin, a sales manager for several Watco operations, including the SKOL, said “We used our relationships and assets to help attract this company.”
Jeri Hammerschmidt of the Neodesha city administrator’s office adds, “We may not have been successful with our business recruitment without the efforts of the Watco team.”