Was I ever wrong about GE Transportation

Posted by Steve Sweeney
on Monday, May 21, 2018

Boy, was I wrong about GE Transportation.

GE and Wabtec officials announced today that they'll combine their companies but keep divisional headquarters in Chicago and Wilmerding, Pa. And it all makes sense.

For years, I harangued GE Transportation media people about driverless trains, automation, and artificial intelligence. Early on, they politely responded with additional information on their latest products.

Deep down, I knew services to railroads or locomotive owners would be a bigger deal than the locomotives themselves. But when it came to conjuring what combinations GE Transportation could make with other larger corporations, I put Caterpillar and John Deere up there, instead of Wabtec.

Wabtec already makes what you could call the best-selling positive train control software in the world, the Interoperable- Electronic Train Management System, used by all Class I railroads, Chicago's Metra, and others. Wabtec still makes air brake systems and parts for locomotives and freight cars, not to mention systems and components for transit and commuter railroads. GE has been analyzing locomotives remotely for at least two decades, long before Trip Optimizer and GE Digital — which are both fully immersed in locomotives. 

According to a GE news release this morning, the combined company will generate about $8 billion in annual revenue and have nearly 30,000 employees world wide, essentially doubling the size of either company. More details are coming, but I can't wait to see the benefits a combined company will mean.

 

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