An Oklahoma-based company is building its own niche amid the oil industry’s rail boom.
Freedom Railcar Solutions LLC was formed earlier this year to provide mobile repair and maintenance services for tank cars being used to ship oil in North Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.
Company President Kevin Goins said it is a venture borne of necessity, as increasing shipments of crude oil by rail have resulted in new tanker fleets being built, but some older cars are still in use.
Railcars are out of service for an average of 90 days when they are sent to a full-service repair shop, but Freedom Railcar will deploy mobile repair units at strategic locations to slash that time. Its crews will be equipped to repair or replace vacuum release valves, lids and eye bolts, load valves, brake parts and other components.
Goins said it is important to get cars back into service as quickly as possible, since three months off the rails can translate into about $100,000 in lost revenue, cleaning and repair charges per car.
“We believe in measuring our success by our customers’ success,” he said. “Our first objective is to ensure that we minimize railcar downtime by providing safe, reliable and rapid service when and where our customers need it.”
The company, which is based in Mustang, expects to begin serving customers in North Dakota and Wyoming by July 1. It will expand to other areas as warranted, Goins said.
Co-founders Goin and Don Walsh, the company’s vice president of business development, have nearly 40 years of experience in the rail industry.
“We formed Freedom Railcar to address the increasing demand for dependable, high-quality railcar services in the Bakken and other rapidly emerging crude-by-rail markets,” Goins said. We are a next generation company with a customer-driven approach to railcar repair and maintenance.”