The Erie, Pennsylvania, locomotive assembly plant is not alone in seeing worker layoffs.
“The North American rail market continues to be challenging. Freight rail volume has dropped year-over-year and the number of parked freight locomotives remains high,” GE spokesman Tim Bader told Trains magazine. “As a result, production volume is down at the facility in Fort Worth, Texas, requiring only 50 percent of the site’s available capacity.”
Bader said furloughed employees will receive company benefits and be eligible for state unemployment insurance.
Those workers not being laid off will be working 32-hour weeks beginning in June.
Since opening in 2012, the Fort Worth plant has built more than 1,000 locomotives for such railroads as Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, Canadian National and Ferromex.