We are a small hard-working construction & consulting firm based just outside of Reading, PA. Established in 2015, we hit the ground running with our direct approach to providing solutions and assistance to companies seeking help with their rail infrastructure. From simple track inspections to designing & managing complete siding replacements, we offer our clients the full package.
Founder and Principal
Wes's railroad career began in 1997 while a freshman in college. He worked part time in the evenings in the finance department doing all major accounting functions and worked summers and weekends on the track maintenance gang as a laborer and at times, equipment operator. Employed by a successful, family owned regional railroad experiencing significant growth, he quickly developed a passion for the railroad business and the opportunities within it. During college, he was a purchasing manager and was also tasked with learning Pennsylvania's Rail Freight Assistance Program. This led to him designing projects, completing applications and eventually managing a total of almost $20 million in projects from start to finish. After graduating college in 2001 with degrees in Management and Marketing, he was promoted to Vice President Maintenance of Way. With his main focus on managing the track maintenance department, his responsibilities also included managing the RFAP program, government affairs work and heavy involvement in the real estate department. Five years later, he was named Vice President Asset Management. While continuing to manage the track maintenance department, he was also responsible to manage the real estate department and governement affairs work. After four years, he went back to his routes and became Vice President Maintenance of Way again for the remainder of his career at the railroad.
His involvement in purchasing many millions of dollars of track materials and track equipment along with negotiating and managing almost every track contractor in the tri-state area has given him tremendous knowledge of the railroad contracting and supplier industry. Bottom line is he knows how to inspect, build and repair track and he knows what the labor and material costs should be.
As an avid aviator, Wes holds a Part 107 Commercial uSAS (Drone) license, a private pilot license in helicopters and a private pilot license in single engine airplanes. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching his son's baseball and basketball teams, spending time with his family and working with his two Shiloh Shepherd dogs.
“We're a small and diverse consultancy. We can assist with almost any aspect within the railroad and transportation industries. We excel at identifying problems, analyzing situations and implementing solutions. We look forward to hearing from you!"
Wesley Westenhoefer, Principal Track Solutions, LLC
WHY WE EXIST
Across the country, there are thousands and thousands of companies utilizing our nation's network of railroads to ship and receive a multitude of products. From plastic resin to automobiles, almost everything produced in America has touched a railroad at some point in it's transition to the end user.
Except for transload operations, the majority of rail users receive rail service at their site, which means they have railroad track on their property that they lease or own and are responsible to maintain. Unlike the railroad that serves them and the handful of track contractors that exist, industries typically have very little knowledge about track and how to monitor and maintain it. Typically, very little attention is paid to a rail siding or yard UNTIL a problem arises such as a broken rail, a gapped switch point, or all too often, when a derailment occurs. What normally would have been an inexpensive routine repair has now turned into a costly emergency. With very little knowledge of track components and proper repairs, the industry is forced to quickly seek out a railroad contractor to fix this unfortunate situation. With little to now knowledge of proper track related workmanship, the industry must trust that the work they perform is done properly and the materials they use are of proper size and of good quality. Moreover, they have no way of knowing what the real costs should be for such repairs and are left to wonder if they received a fair deal or if they paid premium dollars for scrap materials and work that may not last a month.
The process of finding contractors, getting a scope of work, getting multiple bids on the same scope of work, scheduling the work and managing the contractor can be a complicated and time consuming process. Railroad track contractors are in somewhat of a unique industry whereas very little people know and understand track work and track materials and the costs associated with them.
Being somewhat paranoid of being taken advantage of, I personally like to check around when faced with a potentially costly situation at home. For example, if I think I may need a new roof or need to replace siding on my house, I elect to hire a home inspector to tell me "if" I need repairs, "when" I should have them done and "what" he thinks I should pay for it. Having no stake or interest in the repairs to my home, I know I'm getting unbiased information from him. Having many family members who are self-employed residential contractors, I am well aware of what can happen to people who ask a roofer if they need a new roof. This is an "apples to apples" analogy of what can happen to an industry who relies solely on a railroad contractor to inspect and maintain their rail infrastructure and is one of the biggest reasons we started this business. No way am I suggesting that contractors are dishonest. I am saying that we have no interest or stake in any work that may be necessary to maintain your track which assures you that our inspections and general oversight of your rail infrastructure will be focused entirely on the safety and financial needs of your company. The same cannot be guaranteed when you allow a contractor to determine the need and the scope of repairs to a track that they have the right or ability to perform said repairs.
These are just a few of the many situations we have seen occur throughout the railroad industry. Our many years of contractor and project management experience along with having negotiated and purchased close to $50 million of track material and equipment has given us an edge on getting bottom line pricing and top quality work for every customer. Your rail infrastructure is vital to the flow and success of your business and must be monitored to avoid derailments. Derailments jeopardize safety, significantly interrupt material flow, typically are very costly and.........THEY ARE AVOIDABLE.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU