About Kelly-Hill Company

When Charles Kelly and Niles Hill were engineers for the Burlington-Northern Railroad, they saw a need for a private contractor who could build, maintain and repair spur tracks from private owners up to the railroad’s right-of-way. To serve that need, they created Kelly-Hill Company in 1955, and dedicated themselves to providing quality workmanship and superior service to clients. In 1962, they hired Alice Houser to run a one-person office to support the in-field staff.

After working for Kelly-Hill Company for 25 years, the opportunity presented itself to Alice to purchase the company. With less than 15 employees and 6 pieces of equipment, Alice and her husband Neal, purchased Kelly-Hill Company with the aim to improve service and increase the scope of the business. Neal is a former pilot with the ability to fix nearly anything; he soaked up the business, learning from Kelly-Hill Company’s foreman and supervisor. Neal used to purchase old railroad maintenance equipment through auctions and rehabilitate the pieces. Repairing the existing machinery gave Neal the ability to operate at a higher level without spending the money on new equipment.

As the business grew and Neal had repaired the existing machinery, Alice and Neal purchased more modern equipment, specifically tampers, tie inserters and spiking machines. In some cases, the machines did the work of six men, which led to completing jobs more efficiently and the ability to do more work. Not only did Kelly-Hill Company grow in machines, but in office size and number of people. Kelly-Hill Company leased office space and property until 2010 when they purchased an office, property for machine and on-site material storage. Now, Kelly-Hill Company boasts more than 200 pieces of equipment and around 75 employees. Since 1987, Kelly-Hill Company has become one of the leading providers of railroad services to a wide spectrum of clientele and has developed a reputation in the railroad industry for delivering a quality product, on-time, and to the client’s complete satisfaction.

Kelly-Hill Company is not only a family-owned business, but a Woman-Owned Business (WBE) as well. Alice and Neal’s daughter-in-law, Kathy Wright is a co-owner and now manages the office. From Class I railroads to power plants and everything in between, Kelly-Hill Company has developed into a company known for their impeccable safety record and their ability to serve clients’ rail maintenance and construction needs day or night, each and every day of the year.