Investors To Launch New U.S. Railcar Company

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A group of investors said Monday it purchased the assets of a defunct railcar company, hoping to make new passenger trains under President Barack Obama's plan for expanded rail service.

U.S. Railcar LLC intends to make diesel-fueled passenger cars once produced by Colorado Railcar Manufacturing, a Fort Lupton, Colo.-based company that shut down in December because of financial problems.

The new company has yet to identify a manufacturing site.

The investors are affiliated with Value Recovery Group Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based firm that helps resolve disputes and financial obligations between debtors and creditors.

Value Recovery Group CEO Barry Fromm said the railcar venture aims to re-establish passenger train production in the United States. Passenger trains currently purchased in the U.S. are produced by European and Asian suppliers, he said.

"We want to keep American jobs and U.S. public investment at home," Fromm said in a statement.

Obama's $787 billion economic recovery package, signed in February, sets aside $8 billion for passenger rail projects in the U.S., something Obama sees as a down payment for a future high-speed network. The first round of funding is expected to be announced this summer.

Colorado Railcar Manufacturing assets acquired by U.S. Railcar include proprietary rights, manufacturing documentation, inventory, tooling and other equipment necessary for production, Fromm said.

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