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LANXESS and Waterloo Central Railway Celebrate Successful Partnership

  • Unique partnership benefits both organizations and the community

ELMIRA, Ontario – LANXESS Elmira and the Waterloo Central Railway are celebrating one-year of a unique agreement that benefits both organizations, as well as residents in the nearby community.


For decades, LANXESS relied on large national railroads to provide the time-consuming and tedious – yet very important – job of  switching rail cars throughout the facility for production and proper shipping schedules. Unfortunately, those providers often had larger volume, higher priority customers, which resulted in Elmira’s rail switching (and the associated noises) being conducted in the middle of the night – or not at all.


“Bigger rail companies squeezed us into their schedule when they could, which meant they’d usually arrive at 2 a.m. and often run out of time before needing to be at the next job,” said Helder Botelho, Head of Operations, LANXESS Canada. “This obviously created operational challenges for our plant as production would be on hold and it created community impacts that we try best to avoid.”


In search of a more reliable solution, the company connected with Waterloo Central Railway (WCR), a non-profit heritage railway that preserves historical rail cars and offers passenger train rides along the Waterloo Spur. The timing worked out perfectly for WCR, which was still withstanding operational economic impacts from the pandemic.

“Not only did this partnership come at a critical time financially for us, but it has broadened our portfolio as a freight provider and given our crews unique hands-on experience and specialty training opportunities,” said Bob Fallowfield, General Manager of WCR, which is owned and operated by the Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society.


WCR crews are on site at the LANXESS Elmira facility each day to properly position rail cars based on the following day’s production schedule, providing the plant employees with predictability and the company’s Lubricant Additives business unit flexibility for its customers.


“Timing is everything, and we were able to make a very timely connection to provide a win all-around – from the operational hours for neighbors and the predictability for our suppliers and customers, to the awareness, appreciation and funding that this project has given WCR to preserve the region’s rich rail history,” Botelho said.


The funding from the partnership has allowed WCR to continue with important preservation projects, while also being able to put the well-maintained heritage locomotives back to work – a treat to crews and local train enthusiasts alike.


“We’re very proud of the relationship that we have with LANXESS, and for the opportunity that this partnership has created for our crews, our preservation efforts, and the many community members that enjoy our services and special activities throughout the region,” said Fallowfield.


For more information about the Waterloo Central Railway, please visit


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LANXESS is a Cologne-Germany based specialty chemicals company with about 13,100 employees in 33 countries, including 2,000+ employees at 20 sites across the United States and Canada. With 2022 sales of EUR 8.1 billion, of which the Americas region made up 28%, the company’s core business is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives and consumer protection products. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.


Forward-Looking Statements
This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors, nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person's officers, directors or employees accepts any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.


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Michael Mackin
External Communications

Phone: +1 412-290-5491