Progress Rail Plans Locomotive Plant in Muncie

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In the fourth announcement of its kind this week, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined executives from rail industry supplier, Progress Rail Services, a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., to announce the company’s plans to locate a locomotive manufacturing facility in Muncie to serve the diesel-electric locomotive market and position the company to participate in future transit rail projects.  Progress Rail, which will operate the facility through a new subsidiary, anticipates this project could create up to 650 new jobs by 2012.

The company plans to invest approximately $50 million to open the first locomotive assembly plant in the United States in many years.  Progress Rail will launch assembly and manufacturing in the 740,000 square-foot facility formerly occupied by ABB Power T&D Co., which closed in 1998.  In addition, the company plans to build a locomotive test track on the facility’s 75-acre campus.

Today’s news from Progress Rail brings total jobs announced for Indiana this week to 2,000.  Earlier today Ascension Health said it would locate a professional service center in Indianapolis and create 500 new professional jobs.  On Tuesday ExactTarget announced plans to add 500 jobs in Indianapolis and Cummins said it would expand its Columbus headquarters by hiring an additional 350 associates.

“Weeks like this remind us that Indiana is a leader in private sector jobs creation because we’ve built the best sandbox for business. I can’t think of a better way to cap off the week – a major investment from a company that is a recognized leader in one of America’s great industries and hundreds of new jobs moving into a building that has long been vacant,” said Daniels.

Founded in 1983, Progress Rail Services manufactures, repairs and refurbishes freight cars, locomotives and rail track for Class 1, short-line and transit railroad companies as well as private car owners.  In addition, the company oversees the reclamation of used rail, wrecked or retired railcars and locomotives and other scrap metal.

“We are pleased to announce the opening of this state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to better serve our customers,” said Billy Ainsworth, president and chief executive officer of Progress Rail Services. “We believe the Muncie community and the state of Indiana will offer our organization an outstanding location from which we will produce world-class products.”

The company has more than 130 operating facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.  In August, Progress Rail acquired Electro-Motive Diesel, expanding its network of global locations, products and services.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Progress Rail Services up to $3.5 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $1 million in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. In addition, the IEDC will provide the city of Muncie with up to $1 million in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund.  The state will assist the company in applying for a $1 million federal Community Development Block Grant.  Delaware County will consider a tax abatement, community revitalization enhancement district and tax increment financing request valued at approximately $22.5 million at the request of the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance.

“Progress Rail is the type of modern, advanced manufacturing company that every community desires. It not only provides excellent, high quality jobs but it opens opportunities for our existing businesses as well. This is fantastic news for our community,” said Todd Donati, president of the Delaware County commissioners.

Progress Rail Services’ decision to locate a new manufacturing facility in the Hoosier State comes just weeks after Area Development magazine named Indiana the top state in the Midwest and sixth best in the nation for business, according to a survey of national site selection consultants.

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