How GE Got on Track Toward the Smartest Locomotives Ever

As part of CNET Road Trip 2014, I've come to Fort Worth to see how a locomotive, specifically GE's Evolution, is built. First introduced in 2005, the Evolution can be found pulling trains in 10 countries, and there are now more than 5,000 of the engines in use worldwide.

Built along with a nearby sister facility for a total of $235 million, GE's new factory turned out a single locomotive the first month it opened, in January 2013. Seventeen months later, it's making more than 200 trains a year. For now, GE sells each one made here to BNSF, the massive rail freight company. Later this year, the facility will start delivering to Union Pacific, another major rail freight company.

At the heart of the plant's technology infrastructure is GE's Proficy system, which it uses to collect, archive, and distribute production information around the company. GE began using Proficy in 2011 and rolled out the system here a year ago.