Commercial rail helped build Southeast Tennessee’s booming manufacturing economy.
Now, it’s helping Nokian Tyres build greater supply at its growing tire production facility in North America—with a nod toward rail’s rich history in the region.
The global tiremaker is partnering with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum to use a restored locomotive to deliver raw materials to the storage warehouse at its award-winning factory. The locomotive will pull train cars the one-mile distance from Norfolk Southern’s rail line to the facility’s storage bay, enabling Nokian Tyres to smoothly process the growing volume of materials necessary to accommodate rising demand for tires produced at the factory, and decreasing the reliance on trucking in favor of a more efficient, sustainable option.
“This locomotive helps us reliably handle larger quantities of materials and streamline our processes,” said Nokian Tyres Transportation Manager Daniel Dobbs. “It’s a step in the right direction to support the factory as we continue to scale up production.”
Nokian Tyres’ Dayton Factory is connected to Norfolk Southern’s train line via 5,000 feet of track that ends at its rubber mixing building. The factory is the foundation of Nokian Tyres’ growth plan in North America, and production volume is increasing there as the company responds to rising demand for its products in North America. The factory’s workforce grew from 150 team members to approximately 330 in 2021, and Nokian Tyres continues to hire workers to join its thriving team.
“The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum supports our rail preservation efforts through a growing rail switching operation,” said Museum President Tim Andrews. “These operations provide, safe, timely, and economical service to companies like Nokian Tyres that are helping to grow the region’s manufacturing footprint.”
“As we grow in service to our customers and drivers, we want to expand in a way that honors our community and respects the environment,” said Nokian Tyres Dayton Factory Operations Director David Korda. “This locomotive helps us transport more raw materials to our factory in a sustainable way, while partnering with an organization that preserves rail’s rich history in this region.”
The Dayton Factory will allow Nokian Tyres to strengthen relationships with North American customers by tailoring its product mix to the needs of drivers in the region.