Two companies have been working side-by-side for more than 20 years to provide private railroad car owners the repairs they need. TV6 spoke with the Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad Company and Softek Contractual Services to find out What Works in the U.P.
ELS Railroad and Softek have contracts with private rail car owners from across the county. They do everything from light to heavy rail car repairs including upgrades and derailments.
They are currently working on 13 contracts. They are able to multitask by finishing the jobs quickly, using two to six employees on one car at a time.
â??We try to have a typical turnaround of 24 hours on each car when it comes into the shop,â?? said vice president of mechanical fleet operations, Michael Logan. â??The heavier repairs take anywhere between a week to two weeks.â??
The companies say it is this kind of hard work that has increased their recognition.
â??Over the past 22 years this shop has gained a reputation as a good quality repair facility,â?? said supervisor Arthur Menard. â??Overtime that has come together in the form of new customers.â??
These new customers have led to new jobs. In the past three years, they have doubled their number of employees, and currently employ over 70 people. But they donâ??t just hire anyone, last year ELS Railroad and Softek were recognized for their efforts at hiring veterans.
â??The veterans are very important to us,â?? Logan said. â??Itâ??s something we appreciate and itâ??s basically us giving back to those veterans.â??
The shop hopes to continue to gain recognition and continue to give railroads a good name.