Green Collar Job - Locomotive Building
By Andy Fletcher.

The locomotive of the future is here today, and with it a growing green collar job-locomotive building. Evolution Series Diesel-Electrics, "The World's Cleanest Locomotives" roll out of General Electric's Erie, Pennsylvania plant. Built by American workers, these locomotives are the product of five years and $250 million of research and development by the modern railroad industry.

GE Transportation, which built 907 " World's Cleanest Locomotives" in 2007 employs 5,000 workers at Erie. The company has orders for hundreds more.

The infrastructure of transportation is tied to America. Transportation jobs, by their nature, cannot be outsourced. The future of this transportation lies in locomotives, which can, on average, pull a ton of freight over 400 miles. Although locomotives can be
built overseas, General Electric has chosen to keep its plant in the United States.

Locomotives have evolved due to more stringent standards of the EPA. Locomotives had no emission standards prior to 2000. The EPA mandated emissions be lowered to 500 parts per million by 2007 and 15 parts per million by 2012. This is done in two ways-

1. By remanufacturing existing locomotives.

2. By purchasing new locomotives.

Railroads have already stepped up to the 2007 standard. Much of the locomotive rebuilding done was done in the United States. Many of the locomotives purchased came from General Electric and were built at Erie by US workers. The industry researches and prepares to build its next "Cleanest Locomotives." America's green collar workers build today's locomotives now and will build the next generation of locomotives tomorrow.