Freight rail supporting job growth in Ohio

Overhead shot of the Marion Industrial Center

Marion, OH – The Marion Industrial Center was originally constructed and owned by the Federal government to support overseas operations during World War II. The 478 acre facility hosted 1.2 million square feet in building space and 10 miles of railroad track. The facility served as a rail oriented supply depot supporting the movement of weapons and supplies to Liberty ships.

From 1965 to 2014, ownership and operation of the facility has shifted to the private sector and the crumbling buildings and dilapidated track was repaired. Initially, the private development was focused on rail and serviced the boxcar, tanker, lumber, and auto markets. In 2005, two 100-ton Mi-Jack cranes were added to the facility and the rail lines were upgraded to accommodate intermodal transportation. It wasn’t long before the center was bringing in a train every morning.

Today, the Marion Industrial Center is a thriving intermodal facility serving domestic and international customers. The facility is home to over 1,000 jobs and hosts operations for numerous companies; including Schneider National, Pacer, Swift, Owens Corning, and General Mills, The recent completion of the North Baltimore CSX Transfer Yard has impacted operations as well. Starting in August 2012, rail cars moving through the facility doubled. The sharp rise in volume is expected to directly create another 100 jobs annually as the facility continues to grow.  And with the expected growth of distribution centers another 9,000 jobs could be created in the county.

“This development in Marion would not have been possible without freight rail. We connect local businesses to a global marketplace through cost effective rail service and that’s just good for our competiveness as a community and for the entire state. Our biggest challenge now is securing the space needed for continued growth,” said Ted Graham, President of Marion Industrial Center.