On the Fast Track

TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business + Industry and Memphis Light, Gas and Water team up to help railroad company grow in Memphis.

JANUARY 31, 2019—Atlantic Track has been manufacturing products for the railroad industry since Calvin Coolidge was President. Thanks to a new partnership with TVA and Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), they became one of the many companies contributing to a modern manufacturing renaissance in Memphis after opening their newest facility on more than 14 acres in early December 2018.

TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business + Industry played a significant role in helping the new site add smart energy technologies to their facilities. Energy efficient welding machines, cutting blades and a computer-controlled cutting machine—one of 20 in the world—will help the company increase their competitiveness.

Growing Strong in Memphis

“Memphis is known for manufacturing, and our team works with MLGW to offer expert guidance and targeted incentives to industries like Atlantic Track,” said Cindy Herron, vice president, EnergyRight Solutions. “This is just one of many examples of how businesses, local power companies and TVA can all work together to offer efficient electric technologies that provide solutions that help everyone.”

The expansion includes an additional 16,000 square feet of manufacturing space along with new, efficient machinery and equipment, and an innovative partnership with Shelby County Schools Career and Technical Education. The goal is to hire trained students straight out of high school who will have an opportunity to make a livable wage and continue their education with tuition assistance from Atlantic Track.

Because of the expansion, Atlantic Track will grow its product line and bring 20 additional jobs to the Memphis area. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility, Atlantic Track President Peter Hughes highlighted the company’s commitment to Memphis. “Employment at this facility has increased from the five original employees of MidSouth Rail Corp in 2010 to more than 50 today. And we have big plans for the future and for additional growth here in Memphis,” Hughes said.

MLGW President and CEO J.T. Young said of the project, “MLGW is proud to be a part of the expansion at Atlantic Track. We, along with our partners at TVA, look forward to working with Atlantic Track as they continue to grow and are committed to serving their utility needs."

New Energy Smart Technologies

In addition to welding machines, cutting blades and a computer-controlled cutting machine, the company added high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technologies to the new facility.

HVLS fans distribute air evenly throughout an industrial space while using a fraction of the energy of a traditional fan. Not only does this drive heating and cooling costs down and reduce stress on HVAC systems, but it is quieter than the noisy floor fans typically used in a manufacturing facility, which helps maintain a comfortable work environment.

EnergyRight Solutions also supported the company with reconditioning an area previously used for storage to make it appropriate for railroad bending. Rail can bend, warp and buckle in the midst of extreme temperatures. Well-maintained rail needs to be produced within a neutral temperate range, and the new facility installed variable refrigerant flow conditioning technology to ensure consistent temperatures throughout their space.

Other advantages offered by VRFs include the ability to simultaneously heat and cool based on what is needed in different areas of a building, quiet operations and flexible installation.

With more than 200 full and part-time employees located in seven states, Atlantic Track Director of Engineering and Manufacturing Jeff Grissom credits TVA with helping keep the company invested in Memphis and the state of Tennessee.