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Wabtec to consolidate Boise and Erie operations

Wabtec manufactures rail equipment. Image: Wabtec

Rail equipment manufacturer Wabtec (NYSE: WAB) has decided to close its MotivePower business unit in Boise, Idaho, as the company seeks to consolidate its manufacturing operations following its February merger with GE Transportation.

Wabtec will move operations from Boise to an existing facility in Erie, Pennsylvania. GE Transportation considers Erie as one of its “global performance optimization centers,” where the company manages its locomotive fleet and maintenance resources, and provides a hotline for locomotive maintenance issues.

“Decisions like this are never easy but will help simplify and optimize the company’s manufacturing footprint in today’s cyclical environment, as well as better position Wabtec for success,” the company said on Sept. 18. The company in late July lowered its sales guidance for the remainder of 2019.

Wabtec describes MotivePower as “an industry leader in the design, manufacture and re-manufacture of diesel-electric locomotives,” according to its website. The Boise facility has produced over 2,800 locomotives since 1972.

MotivePower became a subsidiary of Wabtec when it merged with Westinghouse Air Brake Company, Wabtec’s predecessor, in 1999.

Image: Wabtec

Wabtec and GE Transportation announced their intentions to merge in May 2018. The merger was finalized in late February 2019. GE Transportation was known as a manufacturer of locomotives, including diesel-electric locomotives, while Wabtec’s portfolio focused on rail equipment and technology products. 

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.