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Home on the rails

Do you have a private train car that needs a makeover?

Photo by Greg Bird Steve and Michelle Richards: owners of a new business in Stearns.

Photo by Greg Bird
Steve and Michelle Richards: owners of a new business in Stearns.

Then there is a new business in Stearns that can help fill all your needs.
Crossroads Railcar Services, Inc., owned and operated by Steve and Michelle Richards, has set up shop in the historic district and are busy at work restoring and remodeling passenger train cars.

Crossroads specializes in custom repair and upgrading of privately owned rail cars, one of only a few companies in the United States that provide the service.
From restoring the car to its original state, to totally revamping the interior to a luxurious suite – complete with kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas.

Richards says it is a growing market as many people are learning to enjoy travelling across the country, or even vacation by rail, and they prefer to have the comforts of home with them as they ride in ease down America’s vast railroad network.

“The customer can bring us an empty shell, and we can do just about anything they want with it,” Steve said.

The company started in Indiana, but Steve and Michelle were looking to relocate somewhere closer to their roots.

Steve’s family was originally from Russell County, so when they decided to move south, they started looking in the Southern Kenutucky area to relocate.

They needed a site with access to rail lines, as well as with ample space to work on the restorations.

The couple first settled on Somerset, and were prepared to sign a lease on a property that suited their needs.

But fate had other plans.

Richards was early for his meeting to sign the final paperwork, so he decided to travel a bit farther down the highway and drove through Stearns.

That trip proved fruitful to both the Richards and Stearns.

Stopping by the depot in downtown Stearns, he met Becki Egnew, who introduced him to J.C. Egnew, who made him a better offer on a place to move the business.

“The more we were around this town, the more we loved it,” Steve said. “Everyone was so welcoming.”

It wasn’t long before a deal was struck and operations were moved south into the old railway yard.

“This building is amazing,” Steve said.

The Richards say the community is perfect for their business, since they prefer the small town feel.

“We came from a small town, and believe in trying to keep money local,” Steve said.

“It just feels right,” Michelle added. “We are excited about being in Stearns.”
One of the immediate benefits was a work force that already had experience in the type of work the company was doing.

“We hired capable people, who already had the skill sets, and are doing a very good job.

Also, the relationship with J.C. Egnew and Outdoor Venture is an added benefit. Steve said the recent expansion of the Stearns manufactory to include ready to build modular panels can help provide fire-retardant insulation for use in the rail cars.

“We have a great relationship,” he said. “We will help them in any way we can, and they do the same for us, be it materials or work done on a piece.”

Right now Crossroads Railcar Service employs about seven people, and hopes to expand their crew as they grow.

For more information on the Richard’s enterprise, you can visit their Facebook page at

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