Media reports: GE and Wabtec eyeing deal for GE Transportation

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Speculation about the future of GE Transportation continues with the latest rumor about the locomotive maker’s future centering on a possible deal between GE Corp. and Wabtec.

Bloomberg and Reuters both reported the rumor based on information from an anonymous source.

“We are evaluating a range of strategic options for our business, and do not comment on rumors or speculation,” a GE Transportation representative tells Trains News Wire.

A combination between the companies would create a railroad powerhouse in North America with a touch of irony: George Westinghouse, who founded predecessors to Wabtec, and Thomas Edison, who founded GE, were bitter rivals in the late 1800s. Westinghouse’s companies served railroads through his Westinghouse Air Brake company and, eventually, alternating current electric technologies. GE meanwhile began with Edison’s laboratories, then went on to build locomotives, and make lightbulbs, dishwashers, and electric power plants, focusing heavily on direct current electricity.

Today, Wabtec builds and rebuilds locomotives under the Motive Power brand and supplies parts, assemblies, and technologies for freights cars, locomotives and transit equipment under more than a dozen brands. Wabtec also produces and distributes the Interoperable- Electronic Train Management System, better known as the freight railroad version of positive train control in the U.S.

GE, in addition to diesel electric locomotives, is a leader in heavy industry software and controls from Trip Optimizer to remote locomotive systems monitoring.
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