Progress Rail Grand Opening of Indiana Facility

Progress Rail recently held a grand opening for its new Muncie, IN locomotive assembly operation.

Almost one year to the date of announcing its decision to locate a locomotive manufacturing facility in Muncie, IN, Progress Rail Services Corporation (PRSC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., officially opened its Muncie operation.  

Progress Rail announced the site selection in October of 2010 and began work in earnest in January of this year. In less than 10 months, the facility has produced completed diesel-electric locomotives for customers. The Muncie facility is the first locomotive assembly plant to open in the United States in many years, and is the latest milestone to mark Progress Rail's strategic approach to compete and win in the global railway industry.

"This is the type of responsiveness our customers have come to expect from Progress Rail," says 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 Progress Rail and EMD to offer the broadest range of locomotive engine solutions and remain the only manufacturer of 2- and 4-cycle locomotive engines. The companies are also working on numerous alternative fuel projects for customers. In December of 2008, Progress Rail utilized the first common rail fuel system for mainline locomotives, with its 4,300-horsepower PR43C locomotive, powered by two rugged Cat engines – the C-175 and C-18.

In 2010 alone, Caterpillar and its subsidiaries invested a record $1.9 billion in product research and development. Through these collective research and development efforts, Progress Rail and EMD are able to produce the most durable, reliable and sustainable locomotives in the world.

Within the past year, Progress Rail also announced two additional locomotive assembly plants, as a further commitment to increasing capacity to produce locomotives globally, with one in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and another in Sahagun, Mexico.

"We are proud to be in Muncie, IN, today celebrating the official opening of our locomotive assembly plant. We look forward to being a part of this community's economic future for many years to come," Ainsworth says. "We have assembled a talented and dedicated group of local employees eager to meet our customers' needs. As we continue to grow our business and build additional manufacturing capacity, Progress Rail will be well-equipped to produce and support the largest global population of locomotives."

Since acquiring EMD last year, Caterpillar and Progress Rail have made significant investments in new equipment and plant improvements, to enable EMD to create new products and services for the international railway industry.

"We want to thank our employees, our customers, the Muncie community and the State of Indiana for their support," says Dan Hanback, senior vice president of operations. "This is about meeting the challenging competitive realities in the global rail industry, but one that carries great potential. We're proud to say that Muncie is going to help us do that."