RSA lends $275M to rescue North Alabama railcar plant

BARTON, Ala. (AP) - The Retirement Systems of Alabama has agreed to lend an additional $275 million to help get a western Colbert County railcar manufacturing plant back on track.

A spokesman for the National Alabama plant, Peter Earle, said development of the nearly mile-long plant has slowed as the company struggled to find capital investments needed to begin producing railcars. With the additional loan announced Friday, RSA will have up to $625 million invested before the first railcar is produced.

RSA chief David Bronner insisted on creating a five-member board to oversee financial decisions until the 15-year loan is repaid as part of the arrangement. The announcement to open the 2 million-square-foot plant at the Barton Riverfront Industrial Park came in July 2007.

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