GE Transportation has secured 225 orders in 2018 for locomotive modernizations. It has also completed the first of 100 modernizations for Norfolk Southern.
With the increased demand, GE’s 1-million-square-foot facility in Fort Worth is now the world’s largest locomotive modernization facility.
The modernization program updates aging locomotives — some more than 20-years-old — with customized solutions that range from simple changes, including control system upgrades, to complex restorations, such as the comprehensive transformation of an aged DC locomotive into an AC locomotive outfitted with state-of-the-art digital technology.
“We’ve seen our modernization program grow 20 times since 2015,” Pascal Schweitzer, vice president, services of GE Transportation, said in a news release. “Over the last decade, GE has transformed more than 2,000 locomotives for customers worldwide, including for the majority of the Class 1 Railroads in North America as well as international customers. The outcomes these modernizations offer to our customers creates the ability to realize significantly more value out of existing locomotive assets, which has been game-changing.”
GE increases the asset value of locomotives over their lifecycle and optimizes future growth opportunities for customers. Modernizations also extend the service life of locomotives by approximately 20 years. Already, GE Transportation customers have experienced substantial outcomes from the program, including up to 10 percent fuel efficiency gains, 40 percent increase in reliability and 50 percent increase in haulage ability.
Canadian Pacific, looking to take advantage of such optimization, had 30 modernized locomotives delivered in 2017. An additional 80 are on order to be delivered in 2018.