APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

EMD sale (Railroad Locomotives)

A number of venues are now reporting the sale by two investment groups of Electro-Motive Diesel to Progress Rail Inc. Electro-Motive, long referred to as "EMD" was originally the Electro-Motive Corporation which in the late 30's was the main driving force behind developing and selling diesel locomotives in the US. General Motors bought it prior to WW2 and made it the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors, or EMD. This firm held the sales lead for decades until dethroned by General Electric in the 80's. GM decided to sell it off about five years ago to investor groups.

Progress Rail is really an operating entity fully owned by Caterpillar, who has been trying to get into the locomotive field in a big way for decades. Many, many industrial locomotives used Cat diesel engines but Cat itself was never a marketer or maker of locomotives - just a supplier. All attempts to get long-term, series production of large locomotives with Cat engines have failed- mostly due to financial considerations (the last firm, Morrison-Knudsen Rail, was marginal when it started its MK5000C program years back and that killed it; the units used Cat 3512 5000 HP engines.)

This is the thing Cat has wanted for years - and since EMD may have problems with its long-used two-stroke diesel concept in meeting future emissions, the Cat four-stroke diesels may just be the ticket for long-term survival for EMD in the marketplace. Time will tell.

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