GE’s locomotive assembly facility in Fort Worth is the last stop on an advanced global supply network that has the potential to change the nature of manufacturing the powerful machines. From its assembly lines, the Evolution Series Tier 3 Locomotive—the most fuel-efficient in the North American heavy-haul market—is emerging.
The Evolution is assembled in Fort Worth from some 18,000 parts brought in from all over the world. A global network of suppliers in Pennsylvania, South Africa, Alabama and Mexico, among others, sends 12,000 pieces a day to make the advanced locomotive. The parts are connected to a 120,000-pound, 73-foot-long platform that makes up the spine of the powerful machine.
“From an engineering standpoint, this [manufacturing] process has the ability to change the way that locomotives are built,” says GE’s Michael Parvaresh, final assembly quality technical advisor in Fort Worth.
Once assembled, the 15-foot-tall vehicle can travel at a max speed of 72 mph and can pull 170 Boeing 747 jets. It has been engineered to use 11 percent less than the average fuel consumption of the existing North American locomotive fleet. This can save more than $83,000 in annual diesel fuel costs per locomotive at $2.90 per gallon.