• EMD vs GE (Wabtec) Locomotive Volumes

  • Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.
Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by 32of32
Hi there,

I recall seeing, a number of years back, a graph that showed the split of North American domestic locomotive sales. I’m wondering if this Type of data resides anywhere - showing the split between EMD/GE sales per year - up to and including current year.

Thanks for your help!
  by Allen Hazen
For a decade or more, "Trains" has published (usually in about September) an annual "Locomotives" special issue, including a review of the year's (North American) locomotive orders.
I have not seen "Extra 2200 South" since it stopped publishing a paper edition, but it used to have a similar (but more usable, since the data was presented in tabular form) annual survey.
  by Allen Hazen
The "Trains" locomotive special also has a tabular survey, with model breakdown, of the fleets of the big class one railroads. Since new models don't get introduced all that often, this doesn't give you year-to-year sales, but until you get a better source, it gives you a sort of "time averaged" overview.
  by es80ac
With the sale of GE Transportation to Wabtec and the overall mess the GE parent company being in, I suspect EMD probably have gained some market share in the last year especially being part of Cat
  by n01jd1
Market share? What market share? No one is buying locomotives right now, especially when so many locomotives, ESPECIALLY EMD's that are either stored or that have been sold off to Progress Rail who is basically EMD/CAT. I am surprised EMD/CAT has not left the locomotive industry since 99.9% of Tier 4 locomotives sales went to GE(Wabtec)
  by bogieman
Locomotive building is a worldwide business. Both Progress Rail/EMD and GE are building new locomotives for export which are much more profitable than NA locomotives. Progress Rail is a big business in many RR related markets besides new locomotive building and I am sure is making money today. EMD never made much money on new locomotives anyway - the money was made in selling parts and upgrades. So they aren't going away anytime soon.
  by Allen Hazen
Tangential question. A not insignificant proportion of the sales of the Diesel engine used in EMD locomotives (back when that was the 645) was for non-locomotive applications: stationary and marine. (I don't remember what the proportion was: maybe 30%.) And GE also sells its locomotive diesels for s. and m. use, though I have no idea how significant a part of their sales go that way.
So... is the current EMD engine selling in significant numbers for stationary and marine use?
  by bogieman
I haven't heard if that business is holding up but I expect there is some activity. That was also always a profitable business as were component sets when we had associates around the world building localized locos with EMD engines, alternators, and motors.
  by Allen Hazen
Bodieman: Thanks for reply!
  by n01jd1
I do want EMD to survive, but right now I am seeing nothing but GE's on CSX. Its become quite bland with nothing but ES44 and AC44's. I havent seen an SD70MAC in quite some time. CSX sold all their SD60M;s and I';s, all their SD70M';s, the sd40's tend to be in yard service, the sd50's have been sold. CSX is pretty much a GE railroad and it seems NS is going that way as well.
  by Allen Hazen
Sorry to take so long in posting.
The "Trains" (Kalmbach Publishing) Locomotive annual for 2020 came out last month, and has some numbers.
----One "article" -- more of a tabulation of locomotive headlines -- gives the production totals for GE and EMD for every year from 2000 to 2019: GE outsold EMD in every year. (2002 was a photofinish, with GE about 1% ahead; other years saw GE ahead by much larger margins, GE often building 2 or 3 times as many units as EMD, and over 5 times as many in 2009.) I won't, unless someone really twists my arm, try to copy out all these numbers: the ratio fluctuates, and the numbers include export as well as domestic units, and in the past few years rebuilds as well as new: all making it very hard to discern any kind of trend.
----There is also a "census" of the locomotive fleets of the big six North American freight railroads (BNSF, CN, CP, CSX, NS, and UP). In 2020 the combined fleet was 51% GE to 46% EMD (the rest being from minor builders like NREC and Railpower, etc, and a few preserved but active steam locomotives). As to n01jd1's observations, CSX's fleet was 54% GE to 41% EMD.
----They also (along with some reprinted articles from past years: I wasn't impressed by Kalmbach's willingness to pay for new content) give the census figures for 2000: the overall totals had 36% GE to 66% EMD (with CSX -- the heir of GE-friendly Seaboard System and EMD heavy Chess -- at 40% GE and 55% EMD.
----The comparison shows a dramatic increaser in the proportion of GE locomotives. From the standpoint of the l train watcher, the change is perhaps even more dramatic, since mainline freights are likely to be headed by the newest and most powerful units, which are now predominantly GE. (In, say, the 1970s, there would have been a similar GE bias, though then it made GE look like a larger minority than it really was instead of exaggerating its majority: then as now, GE locomotives tended to be newer and on average more powerful than EMD.)
I've been a railroad fan since my student days (bought my first issue of "Trains" in 1970), and am something of a "fan" of GE locomotives. (Not sure why: maybe it started out in part as "rooting for the underdog"!) I was always sad that there were, for example, so many more GP-30 and GP-35 than U25B. And, despite "my team's" triumph in the past two decades, when you look beyond the mainline freights... there are STILL a lot more GP-30 and GP-35 out there than there are U25B!