Railroad company considers Clanton

Published 8:01 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Railroad maintenance company Boatright Enterprises, Inc. is considering opening a plant at the Chilton County Industrial Park, a company spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

Boatright, a Birmingham company, wants to build a new facility to make railroad ties and is looking at a site at the industrial park off U.S. 31 between Clanton and Thorsby.

Usually made from wood, railroad ties, also called crossties, are used as a base for railroad tracks. They help support rails and absorb train movement.

Company spokeswoman Lydia Wilbanks said the deal was not complete but that the company hopes to make an announcement soon.

“The company hopes to be able to make a decision by mid- to late-September,” said Wilbanks, managing partner of Birmingham-based public relations firm Wilbanks Agency.

The Clanton Advertiser learned of Boatright’s plans from a legal notice that ran in Wednesday’s paper saying the company’s proposed site at 100 McKinney Drive would meet all state standards for an air permit by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Boatright operates a similar plant outside Montevallo in Shelby County.

The company bought family-owned Seaman Timber Company, Inc. for an undisclosed amount of money in June 2008.

According to a Shelby County Reporter article from last summer, Seaman Timber employed 100 people and produced more than 800,000 crossties for Boatright in July 2008.

Wilbanks said more details would be released in coming days.