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 Post subject: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:41 pm 

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http://www.goerie.com/news/20170727/ge- ... bs?start=2

I'm not sure what sort of artifacts will be available, but I believe they have several older units there, I think they finally cut the U25B demonstrator that was used as a paint test bed.


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:48 pm 
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The GE plant looks to be in much better condition than EMD Plant One did in the years before it was finally closed for the last time.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:37 am 

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That U25B demonstrator was cut up probably 15 years ago or more. There is a small museum located on the plant property directly accessible off of East Lake Road, hopefully that will survive. I haven't been there in quite some time, but as I recall, they do have some interesting artifacts on the history of building locomotives in Erie.

This is a true travesty to no longer be building locomotives at that facility, but quite frankly, not at all surprising.


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:53 am 

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More here:

http://www.industryweek.com/cost-management-bpm/ges-century-old-locomotive-plant-cut-575-jobs-trim-costs?NL=IW-07&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_3&utm_rid=CPG03000003529021&utm_campaign=20858&utm_medium=email&elq2=e85eb5fab01641f4ad93b27cb46c5baa

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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
robertmacdowell wrote:
Thanks, Obama.


That wasn't exactly needed here.

Truthfully, we in West Virginia need to start looking at something else.

This is not an academic subject for me. Both of my grandfathers were coal miners. One of them owned a small mine. Actually, it perhaps could be described as miniscule by modern standards; I was told he had maybe six employees. My dad worked in it for a while in the 1940s.

It closed up, I was told, because the coal ran out about 1950 or so.

I recall many mines in the Wheeling area that are now gone--three in Elm Grove (one of which was closed in the 1950s, and momentarily re-exposed by the construction of I-70), the one in nearby Triadelphia (Valley Camp if I remember right), another one between Warwood and Beech Bottom, the mine at Beech Bottom itself that fed a now demolished power plant there (my dad worked there briefly as well), and others in Ohio. . .all gone now for ages.

We've been digging coal in West Virginia for 150 years or more. I don't know how much is left, but the range I've seen for the state would be between 65 years to as little as 35 years. That's not really all that long.

What do we do when the last coal train pulls out and the last barge tow casts off?

For West Virginia and so many other places (among them western Pennsylvania and the Adirondacks in New York), this is compounded by a remote location. Our politicians, as they try to boost the economy, like to brag that "We are within 500 miles of two-thirds of the US population," a reference to the Northeast Corridor and the markets there.

The other side of the coin is the two thirds of the population is 500 miles away.

Could our rail infrastructure be a part of what we can use to change the state?

I would like to think so, but too many of our politicians don't seem to see it. After all, I was called a Communist for suggesting a modern interurban instead of a four lane highway to handle the traffic problems we have in my corner here!


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
robertmacdowell wrote:
Thanks, Obama.


The nattering commentators around the Erie media sites seem to be blaming Pa. Governor Dick Wolf instead of Obama--which stands a bit more to reason, as the jobs didn't go away abroad so much as migrated to Fort Worth.

As has been commented elsewhere yet, GE is one of those diversified multinational conglomerates where it is next to impossible to pinpoint changes such as this on specific state or national policies. GE has been busy for years exporting locos to places like China, Australia, Britain and Indonesia, and EMD, a far more "American" company at this point, is still exporting new locomotives to Africa.

Your typical "American-made" car now has parts from an average of roughly two dozen countries. This is part of what happens when our cars are now technological wonders instead of sheet metal and leather surrounding an engine block.


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
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Texas is a right to work state so few unions.

Non union wages = bigger profits for GE.

Corporate greed is at fault here. Not Obama.


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:51 pm
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Location: USA PA 16508
ATK wrote:
There is a small museum located on the plant property directly accessible off of East Lake Road, hopefully that will survive. I haven't been there in quite some time, but as I recall, they do have some interesting artifacts on the history of building locomotives in Erie.


Sorry, folks, but the on-site museum has been gone for several years now. The Lake Shore Museum in North East, PA just west of Erie has several GE locomotives and artifacts.

As a resident of Erie myself, I'm fortunate that my livelihood hasn't depended on GE over the years but particularly now. I will miss seeing the locomotives in their various paint schemes on the test track---international railfanning from one place!


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
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Texas is a right to work state so few unions.

Non union wages = bigger profits for GE.

Corporate greed is at fault here. Not Obama.

And the answer is.. neither.

There are three answers:

1.) Pennsylvania is tough place to do business, despite the allowance for Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties to impose a sales tax, they suck up a lot of state tax revenue, and so in the most recent "transportation" bill, the nice folks in Coudersport get to pay increased gas taxes so the voters in Philadelphia aren't inconvenienced with increased prices from SEPTA. It's no accident that Pennsylvania has a high median age and is losing Congressional representation and electoral votes.

2.) Getting anybody to live in Erie is difficult. Few other opportunities and brutal snows.

3.) Erie is, as noted is 100 years old, and Texas is brand new. Guess where it's more efficient to put together 400,000 pound six-axles?


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:09 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:31 am
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Location: Northern Illinois
This discussion is becoming a bit too political. Since "all politics is local" as the saying goes, no doubt the people in Erie are unhappy with GE's decision and the politician's inability to prevent it. But General Electric has not abandoned Pennsylvania: in fact they are investing heavily in the Grove City plant that makes and refurbishes the diesel prime movers. It's unionized (same union, different local than Erie). But what the railway preservation impact of all this is, I don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:03 am 

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Location: Baltimore, MD
The fact is that, whether anyone likes it or not, both labor union involvement in the railroad industry and locomotive production facilities are valid parts of the railroad history spectrum. As for the latter, we could, and should, be having this discussion whenever a noted, century-old locomotive production/heavy repair plant bites the dust, be it at Erie, Lima, Renovo, Sacramento, La Grange, Paducah, Eddystone, Altoona, or elsewhere. Like the SS United States, we can't save it all, but we owe it to the future to save what memories and relics we can.

The labor union story is another, wholly problematic one. Unions helped "make America great" in one era, yet later had a great hand in almost destroying the railroad industry as we knew it. And it's an impossible discussion to have without some politics and differing economic philosophies coming into play; the best we can do is keep those differences from becoming acrimonious.


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:24 pm 
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It is a good time now for any interested individuals with collections or access to assemble documentary PowerPoint or video programs on the impressive history of this facility. Hopefully if someone does so, the historical groups will pay attention and host showings. Programs about locomotive builders and their facilities are widely applicable for showings among railroad historical groups.

When Alco closed Schenectady and when EMD closed Plant One in La Grange, there were a couple of years when photos and memorabilia were plentiful. As the years passed all that material got distributed and absorbed into collections and it is now much more difficult to locate original material. It will be interesting to see if this also happens with GE Erie related information and photos.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:34 pm 

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Location: Maine
They wouldn't by chance, have an old FM "Erie Built" car body in some vast, empty warehouse, would they?

Yeah, I know, duck and cover!

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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:44 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
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Location: Warren, PA
What we've seen in Erie was an incredible boom in production orders for pre-Tier IV units and a virtual collapse of domestic orders since - they are down by about half. That's one of the biggest issues here that nobody mentions. Tier IV units are significantly more complicated.

At the very same time, oil trains cut back by about 75%, and coal took a hit as you know. Some recovery since.

During the energy boom, you could hardly find a qualified welder in Texas. They were having real quality issues in Fort Worth, to the point that a couple of Class 1's said 'Erie built only' on their orders, including CSX. And wages were as high as Erie to get qualified people.

Now you've got stored power by Class 1's and a lot of it - reminds me of the early 80's in many ways, and anybody manufacturing power is hanging on for dear life. If you believe CSX, the solution is parking as much stuff as possible. CSX was an Erie loyalist.

Finally, the last great India export deal for kits that GE just signed is moving kit assembly overseas after the 2017 batch - that was pretty much the last straw.
http://www.goerie.com/news/20170604/ge- ... ts-history

Bluntly, current market demands can only support one plant for GE. Have been through it a lot and it's really a good plant by any standards. Erie has taken a beating before - when International Paper bought Hammermill the only thing left standing was the logo on the side of a box of paper.

FWIW the formal announcement also allows union renegotiation of the contract within a 60 day notice, but there hasn't been much said - nothing much said on the union Facebook page, keeping an eye on it. Not close enough to gauge the temperature on that.


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 Post subject: Re: GE ending locomotive production in Erie PA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:10 am 

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Supposedly the engineering , R&D and prototyping will still all be in Erie but that's not much of a consolation. The news reports in Ft. Worth are they're expecting 250 furloughed workers there to be called back, but I've heard that the move will only create 200 additional jobs.

I think the other thing to look at is in Randy's post- they're building a locomotive plant in India. If you think the wage difference is a lot from Ft. Worth to Erie, compare it to rural India. How long until GE is importing locomotives to the US?


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