Posts Tagged ‘Progress Rail’

EMD Marks 100th Anniversary

September 4, 2022

EMD marked its 100th anniversary on Aug. 31. That history began in 1922 in Cleveland when Harold L. Hamilton and Paul Turner founded the Electro-Motive Engineering Corporation, which developed gasoline-electric railcars.

The company soon was renamed Electro-Motive Company.

General Motors acquired EMC in 1930 and renamed it Electro-Motive Corporation. Under GM ownership EMC developed diesel engines that had a better power to weight ratio.

These engines were used in Burlington’s Zephyrs and Union Pacific’s M-10000 streamliners.

A merger with another division of GM gave EMC its EMD moniker, which at the time denoted Electro-Motive Division.

In 1939, EMD introduced the FT, a 1,350-hp diesel-electric locomotive. The “F” stood for fourteen hundred (1,400) horsepower (rounded up from 1,350) and the “T” stood for twin, as it came standard in a two-unit set.

The FT was the first of the F series line of 1,096 F units of which 555 had cabs and 541 were cab-less booster or ”B” units.

As railroads widely switched from steam to diesel power following World War II, numerous other EMD locomotive models followed including the iconic E series which like the F series featured the venerable bulldog nose that defined and for many still defines what a passenger locomotive should look like.

EMD has since built and delivered more than 75,000 locomotives used by railroads around the world. It also built engines for the marine, drilling and power generation industries.

GM sold EMD to Greenbriar Equity and Berkshire Partners in 2005 and in 2010 it was sold to Progress Rail, a division of Caterpillar Incorporated.

EMD has since officially been renamed Electro-Motive Diesel and it continues to build railroad locomotives.

In recent years Progress Rail has focused on building locomotives that have fewer emissions that pollute the air. Last year it signed a memorandum of understanding with BNSF and Chevron to work toward developing a locomotive operating on hydrogen fuel cells.

Testing is underway on locomotives that operate with 100 percent biodiesel capability.

Conrail Group Fails to Save SD80MAC

January 20, 2022

Efforts by the Conrail Historical Society to save a former Conrail SD80MAC have fallen short.

The society was hoping to save one of 23 of the units that Progress Rail acquired in 2020 from Norfolk Southern.

But Progress instead removed the engines and repurposed them for use on boats and scrapped the remaining frames and shells of the locomotives.

The Conrail Society said  in a Facebook post that it tried to reach an agreement with Progress to save one of those shells but the company instead scrapped all of them.

Saving an SD80MAC was atop the Conrail Society’s wish list because Conrail was the only railroad to buy that model of EMD locomotive.

“We completely understand Progress Rail is a business and respect and appreciate their considerable time spent conversing with us trying to make preservation a reality,” the Society wrote on Facebook. “We were talking until the very last moments of the final SD80MAC. While we are heartbroken by the result, we made every effort possible to make preservation a reality.”

The Conrail group indicated it will seek to save one of six SD80MACs that are on the motive power roster of Canadian Pacific, which has used them as a parts sources in an SD70ACU rebuild program.

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Progress Rail Resumes Work in Mayfield, Ky.

December 17, 2021

Progress Rail has resumed operations at a facility in Mayfield, Kentucky, which was struck last Saturday by a tornado that left eight dead at a candle factory.

The company said all of its workers at its facility, which repairs locomotives, were safe.

The Caterpillar Foundation, through the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, is providing emergency services to the community including providing equipment and generators to assist in rescue and cleanup.

NS, Progress Rail Introduce New ECO Unit

October 1, 2021

The first GP34ECO locomotive built for yard and intermediate operations has been introduced by Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern.

The unit meets Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emission standards and is intended to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent compared with older locomotives.

The prototype GP35ECO is undergoing testing for EPA certification.

It has a 3,000-hp 12-710 EMD engine and is the first to use a diesel exhaust fluid/selective catalytic reduction aftertreatment system for line-haul locomotive applications.

NS assembled the locomotive core at its Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania, worked with Progress Rail and Caterpillar on final assembly.

The first GP34ECO will be assigned to NS service in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where it will undergo field testing to ensure that it meets final emissions certification requirements.

Kentucky Locomotive Rebuild Plan to Gain More Work

December 18, 2020

A Kentucky facility of Progress Rail is expected to gain work moved there by the closing of a locomotive rebuilding plant in Washington State in 2021.

The company plans to close the facility in Tacoma, Washington, and move some of its work to rebuilding plants in Mayfield, Kentucky, and Patterson, Georgia.

In a statement, Progress Rail said it expects to close the Tacoma facility by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The statement cited a desire to “eliminate excess capacity and gain necessary efficiencies.”

A notice filed with the Washington State Employment Security Department said 54 employees will be affected and that layoffs will begin on Feb. 9 with eligible workers receiving a severance package.

Indonesian Railroad Buys EMD Locomotives

April 17, 2020

Builder’s photo of an EMD GT38AC.

Progress Rail will build 36 new locomotives for PT Kereta Indonesia at it Muncie, Indiana, assembly plant.

The order is for for EMD GT38AC freight locomotives that PT KAI’s will use for South Sumatra coal haulage operations.

PR KASI has had 50 other GT38AC locomotives operating in this service since 2011.

In a news release, Progress Rail said the EMD GT38AC model was designed specifically for Southeastern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa environments.

It features an 8-cylinder EMD 710 engine and durable AC traction, along with a cab and car body designed for improved visibility.

The locomotives are expected to be delivered in late 2021.

Progress Rail Acquires Cleveland Track Materials

October 31, 2019

Cleveland Track Material is being acquired by Progress Rail. CTM is a supplier of specialty trackwork to North American Class I and transit railroads.

It began operations in 1983 and has facilities in Cleveland; Reading, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee.

Among the products that it produces are panelized turnouts and crossings, special trackwork assemblies, switch points, frogs and crossing diamonds, brace and plating systems, rail joints and guard rails.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in early November.

CTM is a subsidiary of Vossloh North America whereas Progress Rail is a components of Caterpillar.

The transaction is anticipated to close in early November.

Progress Rail describes itself as “one of the largest integrated and diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for global rail customers.”

It said that it creates advanced EMD locomotives and engines, railcars, trackwork, fasteners, signaling, rail welding and Kershaw Maintenance-of-Way equipment, along with dedicated locomotive and freight car repair services, aftermarket parts support and recycling operations.

Lease Unit on NS Gets Unauthorized C&O Look

March 31, 2018

If you see a locomotive that looks like a CSX unit but causes you to do a double take, your eyes are not deceiving you.

SD70ACe No. 4834 has the Chesapeake & Ohio “for progress” herald on its nose.

The unit is owned by Progress Rail and being leased to Norfolk Southern.

Trains magazine reported on Friday that it was recently spotted near Buffalo, New York, leading NS train 36T.

The magazine reported that C&O lettering has been placed on what had been PRLX reporting marks on the unit’s flanks and it is not clear who did that.

But whoever did might get into legal hot water with CSX, which owns the trademarks, logos and service marks of its predecessor railroads.

“CSX takes the use of trademarks, logos and service marks very seriously and has outlined our position on our website,” CSX spokeswoman Katie Chimelewski told Trains. “Proper use of the marks reinforces their distinctive identity and value, while unauthorized use and variation of the marks dilutes and undermines their marketing strength, the owner’s trademark rights, and the economic value of the intellectual property asset.”

She said that CSX marks are not to be used by third parties without express permission of the owners of those marks.

NS is leasing five former CSX SD70ACes. The current CSX livery, known to some as “dark future,” is modeled after a former C&O livery.

With Orders for New Engines Scarce, Locomotive Builders Turn Their Attention to Rebulding

January 29, 2018

Last year was a decidedly mixed one for North American locomotive manufacturers.

Orders for new locomotives were down and much of their business came from re-manufacturing, which the builders said remained strong as railroads sought cost-effective ways to increase capacity and reliability.

“While 2017 [was] a challenging year for the rail industry and we’re still in a tough environment, we have been using this time to continue diligently meeting with customers and turning our focus on how we can meet future needs,” said Brian Edwards, vice president of sales, locomotive service operations and customer performance for Progress Rail in an interview with Progressive Railroading magazine.

Progress Rail said most of its work has involved upgrading engines and control systems, with much of this work being done on intermediate or switcher locomotives.

Edwards expects the demand for these services this year to be similar to what the company did in 2017.

GE Transportation said new orders for motive power last year were soft, but the demand for locomotive overhauls has been trending up for the past two to three years.

“I would say 2017 was strong and 2018 will be stronger as our customers are looking for better capital efficiency,” said John Manison, GE’s general manager of locomotive modernizations.

“One effective way to do that is to take a heavily used locomotive and upgrade the technology on it,” he said.

Manison said most Class 1 railroads have “embarked on some sort of modernization program.”

Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corporation did not receive a single contract to build a new locomotive in 2017.

It has been focusing on two major rebuild orders while expanding an existing re-manufacturing order from seven units to eight.

Brookville executives believe there will be a “good mix” of demand for both rebuilt and new locomotives said spokesman Adam Mohney.

“Our focus will be on meeting the specific demands of our clients and looking for apparent ways to add value with both new and re-manufactured locomotive fleets,” he said.

T.J. Mahoney, the program manager at Railserve said 2017 was a challenging one for modernizations due to a soft North American market. But he sees better days ahead.

“With the economy strengthening, and factors favoring volume shifts from truck to rail, 2018 holds great promise for the industry in general,” he said. “On top of that, corporate sustainability requirements are expected to bolster demand for low-emissions locomotives, including the Railserve LEAF and Dual LEAF. Our outlook is positive this year for sustainable locomotives, both domestically and internationally.”

Like other builders, PowerRail reported a weak market for new locomotives.

“We have also seen a decline in investments in locomotive fleets, in general,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Foster. “Cutting of capital rebuild projects, deferred maintenance and stored locomotives have all contributed to an overall drop in the investment in locomotive fleets.”

However, Foster said that PowerRail has maintained rebuild sales by leveraging new technology and offering reliability-driven products.

That has led it to expand its locomotive facility in Monroe, Georgia, by adding on the building and install two overhead cranes and some Class I track.

“PowerRail has focused on offering enhanced products that will help the railroads increase the service life of their locomotives,” he said.

Progress Rail to Change Names of Subsidiaries

September 1, 2016

Progress Rail plans to cease using the Electro-Motive Diesel name for all of its divisions.

Progress RailHowever, the change does not affect affect locomotive and engine branding which will continue to be described as EMD products and the EMD logo will continue to be placed on locomotives and diesel engines that Progress Rail manufactures and sells.

Progress Rail will apply its name to three subsidiaries that it owns, including Electro-Motive Diesel Inc., Electro-Motive Canada Company and Electro-Motive Diesel International Corporation.

There will be no changes in the management structure of the three subsidiaries affected by the name changes.

A letter that Progress sent to constituencies said the purpose of the name changes is to create a one company and one team strategy.

The changes are effective  on Sept. 1