Future of Railroad Industry Being Designed in Erie - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Future of Railroad Industry Being Designed in Erie

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It was only last November that the CEO of General Electric announced that the company may get rid of its Transportation Division as early as two years.  But, that's not stopping the work being done at the Design and Development Center in Lawrence Park.  Engineers released a report on how new technology will reduce the costs, and increase the reliability, of the railroad industry.

500 engineers work the the center, focusing on the next generation of products for the railroad industry. The center released a report last week stating that the need for domestic transportation is going to increase in the coming years. The report also described the projects the engineers are undertaking to develop locomotives that do more and cost less.

The projects include hybrid locomotives.  Those locomotives would see an increased sharing of power between diesel and electric.  The report also outlined the digital tools that are being developed in Erie.  Those tools that would diagnose a locomotive while its on the track, and would anticipate any problem that locomotive may have. The digital tools would also eliminate any unnecessary delays, and wait times, a locomotive might have in the rail yard.

It is unknown when, or if, GE Transportation will have new owners.  Ask anyone in Lawrence Park, they will tell you the company already has the best engineers.

"I am very confident that we have the smartest, the most brightest engineers in this plant that actually work on the transportation industry for the railroad.  Bar none.  We keep on re-inventing ourselves every day.  So, while we've got great products today, we're already thinking about the products for the future," said Alan Hamilton, General Manager, Systems Engineering.

Hamilton says the design and development team, in Erie, will continue to be the global leaders, no matter who owns the company.

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