Hammering in the last spike of the company’s completed first phase are, from left, Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Gord Brown, CREWS owner Clayton Jones and CN Rail Manager of Accounts Daniel Lajoie. – Submitted Photo
Johnstown –Canadian Rail Equipment Works and Services Inc. (CREWS) railyard is now open for business in Leeds Grenville.
The final spike of the rail trans-loading company’s first phase was hammered in by CREWS owner Clayton Jones at the official site opening on Friday with the help of MP Gord Brown, MPP Steve Clark and Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau.
“We’re very excited for this growth in eastern Ontario,” said Mr. Jones. “All the right elements are here with the Highway 401-416 interchange, the nearby international bridge and the Port of Johnstown. The potential is boundless.”
The new 96-acre site has access to the Canadian National (CN) main line through a spur at Johnstown. The first phase, which opened on January 22, can accommodate 200 rail cars and will employ six people. The second phase will allow for 350 additional rail cars to more than double the investment in infrastructure at the 3518 County Road 2 location.
“Now that the railyard is open and active, I’m receiving so much positive feedback and there is a lot of interest,” said Mr. Jones, noting that since the site opened he has had numerous business inquiries.
The main business of CREWS is providing trans-loading from rail car to truck, or truck to rail car. It also offers rail car storage, in-plant switching for large industry and provides certified operating crews for locomotives and track mobiles. The company has locations in Maitland and Hamilton.
In September 2015, Leeds Grenville Economic Development Manager Ann Weir began working with Mr. Jones to connect him with potential properties and various agencies to support his business expansion plans.
“The need for a trans-loading facility was identified in the Eastern Ontario Transportation Needs Analysis completed on behalf of the Eastern Ontario CFDC Network Inc. in 2014,” said Ms. Weir.
“Counties Economic Development staff are delighted to support Mr. Jones with his expansion. We are thrilled to have a local company grow, create additional jobs and fill this transportation gap. This continues to communicate Leeds Grenville is a great location to do business. CREWS adds to the already existing strong transportation hub that connects 120-million consumers within one day’s trucking time,” said Ms. Weir.