January 11, 2018
The Ft. Worth economy and General Electric are the beneficiaries of a major project from the Canadian National Railway (CN), which is buying 200 locomotives for hauling fracking shale rock, among other commodities.
The diesel-powered locomotive order to General Electric Manufacturing Solutions is the largest Class 1 railway buy in three years, GE said, with the majority of the trains to be built at the company’s Ft. Worth plant over the next three years.
The GE plant has seen some lean years lately, so the new order is spurring some optimism for the local economy.
Canada’s biggest railway operator’s business is booming and it’s now looking to hire 2,000 more employees in addition to the 3,500 hired in 2017.
The market for hauling shale rock for use in oil and gas hydraulic fracturing is growing too, CN said; the railway’s volume is up 14% in the third quarter year-over-year.
CN’s growth area is Western Canada, hauling inter-modal containers and bumper crops in addition to fracking materials, CN said.
GE Transportation CEO Rafael Santana said the CN production order is “helping to turn around the North American locomotive market.”