USA: GE Transportation has announced plans to expand production facilities and invest $58m in research and testing technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from large diesel engines used in locomotive, marine and stationary power applications.

The investment announced on October 18 includes equipping laboratories at its Erie, Pennsylvania, plant for testing to ensure locomotives meet the EPA Tier 4 emissions standards coming into effect in 2015. An additional $38m has been allocated to modernising locomotive and mining truck production equipment, while $40m will go on other facility upgrades, including offices and a Customer Showcase Center.

GE said production at the Erie plant is currently equivalent to the peak production levels last achieved in 2008.

The locomotive plant which is scheduled to open in Fort Worth, Texas, next year will be expanded to produce wheels with AC motors for off-highway vehicles.