Progress Rail Opens New Locomotive Plant

Oct. 31, 2011
Indiana operation producing diesel-electric engines after 10-month development

Caterpillar Inc.’s subsidiary Progress Rail Services Corp. has opened a new diesel-electric locomotive manufacturing plant in Muncie, Ind. The project was announced last fall and estimated at $50 million. It followed Caterpillar’s $820-million cash purchase of Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a designer and manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives for all commercial railroad applications. It is one of two domestic OEMs in the diesel-electric railroad sector.

Progress Rail Services remanufactures locomotive and railcar products and services at 140 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and the U.K.

Work began in January to rehab an idle die-making plant in Muncie, and according to Progress Rail the operation already has completed diesel-electric locomotives for customers. Progress Rail is planning two more locomotive assembly plants, in Brazil and Mexico.

"This is the type of responsiveness our customers have come to expect from Progress Rail," stated Progress Rail president and CEO Billy Ainsworth, president and CEO of Progress Rail. "Through its Progress Rail subsidiary, Caterpillar has proven its commitment to the rail and transit industries and since 2006 has invested more than $2 billion to meet our customers' growing needs."

Caterpillar and its subsidiaries are recognized as the global leaders in diesel engine technology, which allows Through Progress Rail and EMD, Caterpillar claims to be the only manufacturer of 2- and 4-cycle locomotive engines and is developing several alternative-fuel locomotives.

Progress Rail Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., is a leading supplier of remanufactured locomotive and railcar products and services to the railroad industry, operating one of the most extensive rail service and supply networks in North America. We serve our customers through a network of more than 140 locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom, with more than 4,700 employees. Progress Rail Services is headquartered in Albertville, Alabama.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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