Posts Tagged ‘Erie GE locomotive factory’

Erie Plant Has Picked Up Additional Work

June 4, 2020

It wasn’t that long ago that the General Electric locomotive assembly plant near Erie was in danger of closing it locomotive production lines.

But the facility was acquired a year ago by Wabtec and a report posted this week on the Trains magazine website indicates that business at the 111-year-old plant is picking up.

Work previously done in Boise, Idaho, at the Motive Power Industries plant, now a Wabtec property, has been moved to Erie.

That has included rebuilding of F40PH-2C locomotives used by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority into F40PH-3Cs.

Erie has also picked up the rebuilding of Brookville BL20GH locomotives for Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

That work included replacement of the original prime movers with a Tier 3-compliant QSK50 engine.

Work on the MPI-designed MP54AC locomotive built for commuter rail agencies is also expected to be performed at the Erie plant, which is located in suburban Lawrence Park.

And work is continuing in Erie on GECX 3000, which has been touted as the first all-battery-powered road locomotive.

The unit has been repainted into a Wabtec demonstrator livery and is expected to be tested this fall on BNSF.

Wabtec expects to continue to build foreign export locomotives in Erie with the latest being an order of 100 ES30ACis for Egyptian Railways.

That order is ticketed to be completed this month and shipped during the summer.

Some locomotive modernization work is being done in Erie, including rebuilding of CSX CM44ACs and Ahs.

Wabtec is also doing rebuilding work for Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern but most of that is being done in the former GE locomotive assembly plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

Union Expects Layoffs at Erie Locomotive Plant

October 29, 2015

Slowing orders for locomotives has led a union president to conclude that layoffs are coming to the workforce of GE Transportation in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“At some point, there is going to be a layoff, with a relative degree of certainty,” said Scott Slawson, president of Local 506 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, which represents 3,200 hourly employees.

Slawson said he reached that conclusion after reading reports in the financial press and from conversations he has had with company officials.

Any furloughs would come on the heels of GE transportation earning a third-quarter profit of $379 million.

“I don’t know when, and I don’t know how big, but you don’t need a crystal ball to figure out that orders are down,” Slawson said.

GE transportation employs 4,500 hourly and salaried employees in Erie.

“GE Transportation regularly reviews staffing needs to ensure we meet customer commitments and production demand. As final decisions are made, we will share them first with employees before we make any public statement,” said Cathy Heiman, a spokeswoman for the company in a statement.

Slawson said that company officials have conveyed to the union that business next year is looking weak, based on a slowdown taking place in the railroad industry due to declining prices for coal, oil and other commodities.

Union Pacific has idled 140 locomotives and the Association of American Railroads has reported that rail traffic, overall, is down 4.4 percent from this time in 2014.

Slawson said it would difficult for GE’s fortunes to change quickly enough to prevent a layoff.

“We are a long-cycle business,” he said. “You don’t just call up today and say, ‘I would like a locomotive.’ ”

The union head said the fortunes at the Erie plant hinge on how much export business that GE can create. However, a slowing global economy is hindered the export locomotive business.

Slawson said that management has said that it intends to build as many locomotives for North American markets as possible at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

GE is required to give 60 days notices of layoffs and Slawson said that 50 or more workers might get layoff notices.

“We want to try to get out in front of it as fast as we can to minimize the impact,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there with a lot of years of service who would like to retire instead of being laid off. We need to find a way to make that happen.”

GE announced nearly 1,050 in layoffs in 2013, but recalled some workers in 2014 after receiving a record number of locomotive orders.

Most locomotive production for North American railroads is done at GE’s plant near Fort Worth, Texas.

GE Donates Locomotive Control Stand to Museum

February 26, 2015

General Electric has donated a locomotive control stand that will be put on display later this year at the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society and Museum in North East, Pa.

It was used in a test lab as a simulator and is similar to those installed in Dash-8 series locomotives

Carrying serial plate No. 1, the control stand dates from early Dash-7 days and was the first GE locomotive stand to comply with Association of American Railroads standards.

It was used in Building 42 of the GE complex in Erie, Pa.



New FEC Locomotives May be Built in Erie

February 7, 2014

Railfan photographers may have a reason to make a trip to Erie, Pa., this year. And then again maybe they won’t.

The Florida East Coast Railway recently announced that it will order 24 new ES44C4 locomotives from General Electric.

However, neither GE nor the FEC have indicated if the new locomotives will be built in Erie or at the new GE locomotive plant in Texas.

What is known is that the new locomotives will wear the FEC’s red and yellow “Champion” livery, Trains magazine reported on Thursday.

The “Champion” paint scheme was used on FEC’s passenger locomotives beginning in 1939 and the FEC has recently begun applying the scheme to its SD40-2 locomotives.
Delivery of the locomotives, which are the first that FEC has bought from GE, will begin in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Trains reported that FEC officials said that 11 FEC SD70M-2s  will become surplus after the arrival of the new locomotives and will be removed from the company’s motive power roster.

FEC also has yet to assign road numbers to the ES44C4s units it ordered.

Erie GE Plant Workers Rally to Save Jobs

November 25, 2013

Workers at the General Electric plant in Erie, Pa., aren’t giving up hope of saving their jobs just yet.

More than 100 people braved fierce winter conditions on Saturday afternoon to hold a rally outside the GE Transportation factory.

GE had announced that it would eliminate 500 jobs at the plant, including some that would end this month. However, some of those layoffs have been put on temporary hold as the plant works to finish an order.

GE earlier opened a similar factory near Fort Worth, Texas.

The Erie Times-News reported that most of the group was members of Local 506 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

Union President Scott Duke told the newspaper that he was impressed by how many people showed up to rally in weather that was less than ideal.

“It means the world,” Duke said. “This is the working class. We are the middle class. We’re trying to save it whether it’s 90 degrees or 50 below zero.”

The protestors carried signed reading “Bring work back to Erie where it’s done right” and “No turkey for you. Happy Thanksgiving from GE.”

GE Union Files Unfair Labor Practices Charge

May 15, 2013

The union representing employees at GE Transportation’s locomotive plant in Erie, Pa., has filed an unfair labor practices charge against the company.

The United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 506 complaint to the National Labor Relations Board claims that GE improperly removed work from the Erie plant without providing written notice or opportunity for the union to engage in collective bargaining.

“The company, in its April 9 work transfer notice, promised not to shift work out of Erie until October 2013,” Local 506 President Scott Duke told the Erie Times-News. “We have plenty of evidence that GE is steadily shifting work out of Erie now, even though it is claiming that it wants to bargain about the work transfer.”

GE announced plans earlier this year to lay off some Erie plant employees and move their jobs to a new facility that GE built in Texas.

However, the charges filed with the NLRB concern jobs moved in late 2012 and early 2013 when GE opened the Texas assembly plant.