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CAT''s acquisition of EMD

Posted to CAT''s aquisition of EMD (by on June 3, 2010

CAT takes over another old name in the US diesel market.

CAT steps ahead in the US rail market with the acquisition of EMD through it's ProgressRail subsidiary. EMD las a long history in the 2 stroke market dating back to Winton and the Cleveland Diesel Works starting back with the 248, 268, 278, 498 and the 567 series. The Cleveland Works even developed a 16 cylinder radial for a class of US subs (didn't work out well) and a series of 4 - 4-268A engines for 2 US target subs. The 567 series gained popularity in the marine world following it's application in the LST-542 class tank landing ships and was one of the first user friendly engines in the US market. I had the opportunity to sail in a few of these ships during the Vietnam era and we never missed a voyage in part to the simplicity and ease of maintenance with the 567.  The 567 remained popular for a long time until the introduction of the 645 and then the 710 series. EMD remained a part of General Motors until it's sale to private entities a few years back.  It maintained a strong following in the marine field, particularly the work boat industry and the rail sector until it lost it's lead with the introduction of the new 4 strokes from GE. It still however, maintains a loyal following in the rail sector.

What will EMD bring to the table at CAT?  While the unique US 2 stroke has fallen in popularity to the 4 strokes brought on in part by ever increasing emissions requirements, the EMD style may have features that CAT may develop in it's own line.  As CAT has a bullet proof electronics system as well as fuel injection layout some of these features may benefit the 710 series if they choose to continue to build them. CAT stumbled in it's early entry into the rail market but taking on EMD may offer a simple platform to introduce some of the fuel efficient as well as environmentally friendly CAT engines such as the 3500 series to an EMD platform. CAT can benefit as well from EMD's expertise in both AC and DC traction motors.

Following a visit to the MaK works in Kiel a few years back I shrugged as I saw the blaring CAT yellow that had taken over the works. One of the old timers remarked that it came quite quickly with only the old MaK marque on the quayside remaining.  I have visions in my head of workers scampering about with spray guns at the EMD works in the near future. I wish CAT well in their venture.

Photos: Courtesy of Google images.  Couldn't resist the shot of the EMD in yellow.

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