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NRE Paducah Continues to Perform

Like the efficient locomotives they’re known to build, and rebuild in many instances, NRE’s largest plant, located in Paducah, KY continues to perform. Case in point, a recent delivery of not one, but three SW1001s was just completed from the historic plant, rolling out the door as 8504, 8704 & 5306 for National Steel Car. The units were originally Korea Railroad Corp. units that were first built over half a century ago.

“Well, with NRE Performance Solutions and NRE Wheel Shop, now both right here on the same campus, it’s no surprise that Paducah continues to roll these out for us” said Brandon Schwartz, Vice President Sales & Marketing North American Region. “The thing that I still get goose bumps about is the fact that these units were built in 1969. 1969!” Added Schwartz. “We tear them down, we rebuild them, rewire them, we add in the NRE tech and then they’re out there, back on the rails and in the yards, better than new.”

Like the Mt. Vernon, Illinois NRE facilities, located a mere 120 miles North and which also serves as NRE Global Headquarters, NRE Paducah is another full-service complex. With 450,000 square feet and a century of railroad history behind it, it’s one of NRE’s top producing facilities.

“Much like all of NRE, the Paducah team continues to accelerate and perform by leveraging their unique talents and capabilities. We build great custom locomotives and engines for our customers.” said NRE Chief Executive Officer, Merritt Becker.

NRE Paducah provides the following services:

  • New Locomotive Builds
  • Remanufactured Locomotives
  • Locomotive Service
  • Field Service
  • New Parts and Components
  • Remanufactured Parts and Components
  • Salvage

For more information, please contact Brandon Schwartz at 618.899.5591 or b.schwartz@nre.com.

Know NRE: Chris Martin

We have long recognized that our greatest asset is our employees. And, we’re proud to call Chris Martin a teammate. His work ethic, attention to detail and passion make him a trusted and valued partner.

1. How long have you been with NRE? or How long have you been in the RR industry?
I have been working at NRE since September 2022 and I have been in the Locomotive repair/rebuild industry for 26yrs.

2. What do you do for NRE? 
I am an estimator and project manager at the Paducah shop.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job? 
I enjoy getting to be a part of the job full circle beginning with estimating the cost of builds to working on the floor with a great team on locomotives and seeing the finished running product.

4. What makes NRE special? 
NRE has a family atmosphere, everyone is always willing to help out and work as a team. I can see a big future for NRE and look forward to being a part of it.

5. What are your hobbies? 
I enjoy drag racing in my spare time. I run a radial no prep car and my wife and daughter run hard tire class, it is amazing getting to share my passion with my family!

Know NRE: Ginger Kehrer

We have long recognized that our greatest asset is our employees. And, we’re proud to call Ginger Kehrer a teammate. Her work ethic, attention to detail and passion make her a trusted and valued partner.

1. How long have you been with NRE? or How long have you been in the RR industry?
I have been with NRE 15 years in the Corporate Human Resource Dept. When interviewed for the position I was asked how long I intended on staying if hired. My answer was until I retire!

2. What do you do for NRE? 
My title is Benefits Administrator – I manage the employee benefits, process new hires/terminations and maintain numerous monthly reports. I assist in audits involving 401K & ESOP. I am on the Executive ESOP committee and was NRE’s Coordinator for the AHA walk for the 8 years we participated.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job? 
I enjoy many aspects of my job from assisting employees with questions/Insurance issues to deadlines with Benefits, 401K and ESOP. Each has its own challenges that gives me a sense of satisfaction and pride when completed timely and accurately!

4. What makes NRE special? 
It’s special to me because it’s always been a company that you were a person, not a clock number. The “family” atmosphere while still maintaining the worlds largest independent supplier in the industry speaks volumes.

5. What are your hobbies? 
My hobbies and activities include bicycling, crafting, keno, board and card games, as well as spending time with family, friends and church involvement – I like to stay busy.

National Railway Equipment Company Appoints Merritt Becker CEO


Mt. Vernon, Ill., May 24, 2022 – National Railway Equipment Company, an employee-owned global leader in the rail, marine, and power industries, today announced that it has appointed Merritt Becker chief executive officer. An accomplished executive and strategic business developer, Becker joins NRE from global engine and power generation company, Cummins Inc. He will join the company effective June 1, succeeding Steven Beal, who passed away in 2020. Since then, NRE has been led by its Board of Directors.

A veteran of the manufacturing sector, Becker spent the last 12 years at Cummins and its affiliates in a variety of executive-level roles, both in the U.S. and abroad. He most recently served as President and Managing Director of Cummins DKSH in Thailand. Before that he spent more than 12 years with diesel engine and truck manufacturer, Navistar Inc.

“This is an exciting day for NRE,” said John Miscione, Chairman of the NRE Board of Directors. “We have not been immune to the challenges facing our industry in recent years, which were exacerbated by the global pandemic and Steven’s passing. In the face of those obstacles, we have spent the last several years streamlining and stabilizing our operations to prepare the company for a successful future. Merritt’s appointment is a major piece of that strategy, and we are confident he is the leader who can take NRE forward in a rapidly changing industry.”

In taking the helm at NRE, Becker will be charged with serving OEM and aftermarket customers in the rail and inland waterway sectors, and creatively addressing the challenges the company’s customers face as the industry moves toward new technologies. NRE is well-positioned to assist them in the implementation of converging technologies in new and existing fleets to practically meet their objectives.

“I could not be prouder or more excited to join NRE and continue the wonderful legacy that the Beal family has nurtured for so many years,” Becker said. “The Board has worked diligently over the last few years to quietly develop and execute a strategy of streamlining and stabilization. This work has brought NRE to what I consider to be an ideal “fighting weight,” and ready to make some noise in the industry.”

Born, raised, and educated in the Midwest, Becker’s grandparents founded and owned small businesses with strong ties to their hometown – something that made a long-lasting impression on Becker from a young age. In fact, his understanding of the importance of companies like NRE to their local communities was also influential in the Board’s hiring decision.

“While Merritt certainly has the professional qualifications we sought in a new CEO, what also drew us to him was his emphasis on community and his embodiment of the culture and values that make NRE such a special place,” said NRE director, Susan Frangella. “So much of our culture is tied to the communities in which we operate, and from our very first meeting, Merritt eagerly embraced our family culture, our history, and above all else, our unwavering commitment to finding innovative ways to solve our customers’ business challenges.”

About National Railway Equipment
Headquartered in the U.S. heartland in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, employee owned NRE is a global leader in the rail, marine and power industries. With facilities around the world, NRE is proud to serve our customers with integrity and a commitment to industry leading customer service from each our global locations. NRE has delivered over 1200 new and remanufactured locomotives to North American and International railroads.

Green is the New Black at This Year’s ASLRRA Annual Conference

NRE Vice President of North American Sales, Brandon Schwartz, and other members of the NRE Leadership, Business Development, and Technical Sales teams are in Phoenix, AZ attending the long awaited ASLRRA Connections 21 conference hosted by the American Short Line Railroad Association. New to this years conference exhibition is the “Green Zone”, a vendor space designated for the industries growing green initiatives. While NRE is a vertically integrated full service Locomotive production company that serves all facets of Locomotive use, their show presence and Shortline focus will be on NRE green solutions and history.

“With recent changes to emission standards and an overall trend to be more environmentally friendly, the Green Zone is a great idea for this show, and likewise, we’re a logical fit. Essentially, we’ve been recycling locomotives and parts since our inception in 1984” said Brandon Schwartz, Vice President of North American Sales. “We are the original green locomotive solutions provider!”

Additional plans for this year’s show experience include discussing NRE’s new Wheel Shop and the new NRE Performance Center, both newly launched and fully operational in Paducah, KY. The booth space will feature a one-of-a-kind art sculpture made with repurposed locomotive parts greeting all passers-by, while each booth visitor will have a chance to win a set of Apple AirPods. NRE will be located in booths 306 & 308.

“We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones,” Schwartz added. “We invite all showgoers to stop by and learn more about how NRE can help breathe new life into their existing fleet.”

NRE, headquartered in Mt. Vernon, IL, is a vertically integrated provider of new and remanufactured locomotives for sale or lease, third party locomotive and marine engine overhaul and maintenance services, and locomotive parts and components. Since its inception in 1984, NRE has grown to become one of the world’s largest independent suppliers of leased locomotives, new and remanufactured locomotives, new and rebuilt mechanical materials, electrical components, technical support, and field services.

Know NRE: Josh King

We have long recognized that our greatest asset is our employees. And, we’re proud to call Josh King a teammate. His work ethic, attention to detail and passion make him a trusted and valued partner.

1. How long have you been with NRE? or How long have you been in the RR industry?
I have been with NRE for 10 years. I worked as an Engine Builder in the engine shop at our Mt. Vernon facility. In March of 2021 I transferred to the Paducah plant.

2. What do you do for NRE? 
I am currently the Leadman in the wheel shop at Paducah.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job? 
What I enjoy the most about this job is when a finished product leaves, I can look at that piece of equipment and know that I played a part in the process of building/rebuilding it. I believe the best reward a person can receive from their job is the pride in seeing the fruits of their labor.

4. What makes NRE special? 
NRE provides an opportunity for people that want to work in a skilled trade to do so. At the same time people who want to learn a trade can start here and learn the skills that are needed to do these jobs.

5. What are your hobbies? 
My hobbies are hunting, fishing, grilling, and spending time with my family. I have also taken up golf since moving to Paducah.

NRE Launches New Website to Better Serve Customers

NRE is pleased to announce the launch of a new and improved NRE.com designed to better serve their customers and information seekers. Additionally, the site now better represents the full scope of rail and locomotive parts, services and solutions NRE provides to the Transportation, Heavy Industrial, Government, Marine and Agricultural industries.

The newly launched site, has been organized to better represent the users needs. In addition to a new more user-friendly navigation structure and updated content, the website includes a live inventory of available used locomotives. Additionally, NRE Business Development Team members are now represented on the site by region to make new inquiries a more welcoming and turnkey process.

“This new website will allow our customers and potential customers to more easily access our services, as well as find specific locomotives and parts that are currently for sale,” said Brandon Schwartz, Vice President of North America Sales. “It will also save our customers time by giving them real-time access to our inventory and direct access to our sales team,” he added.

NRE invites customers and industry colleagues to check out the new site at nre.com. It includes:

  • A massive locomotive inventory, updated regularly
  • An inventory listing with a wide variety of available parts
  • A staff page with direct contact links
  • Career Opportunity Listings & Application
  • Lists of available services and locations
  • An updated news section with corporate milestones
  • Easy Access Login Portal to NRE Electronics Customer Dashboards
  • NRE Social Media Shortcuts
  • eNews SignUp
  • TV, Desktop, Tablet & Mobile friendly

“Everyone here at NRE is excited about the new site launch,” said Pat Frangella, Executive Team Leader of NRE. “This site is only the start of bigger and better things to come for NRE’s customers.” For more information about the new website, please contact Brandon Schwartz at b.schwartz@nre.com or (618) 899-5591.

NRE to Consolidate Operations


In January of this year, NRE’s leadership team, led by Steven Beal, began a months’ long planning process to streamline the company. That process culminated with a plan to consolidate several production lines to the company’s Mt. Vernon, IL and Paducah, KY facilities. NRE’s board of directors approved the plan in June.

“We are pleased to announce this consolidation plan. This will significantly streamline our operations, while maintaining all of our service offerings for our customers around the globe,” said Pat Frangella, Executive Committee Leader of NRE. “Our core mission remains unchanged, as does our ability to deliver for our customers,” he added.

Over the next several months, the company will consolidate rail operations from the Dixmoor, IL, Silvis, IL, and Milwaukee, WI locations to its existing Mt. Vernon and Paducah facilities. There will be no changes at NRE’s marine focused Power Systems group.

In addition, NRE Hagerstown will be moving its operations to a new facility which will be located adjacent to NRE’s Paducah, KY shops. The facility will include new and updated CNC machines, focused primarily on the manufacture and remanufacture of diesel power assemblies. This equipment will also allow NRE to expand its offerings and provide an even broader portfolio of reliable solutions.

“Being able to meet all of our customers’ power system needs under one roof will significantly increase production capacity and decrease lead times,” said Brandon Schwartz, Vice President of North America Sales.

NRE, headquartered in Mt. Vernon, IL, is a vertically integrated provider of new and remanufactured locomotives for sale or lease, third party locomotive and marine engine overhaul and maintenance services, and locomotive parts and components. Since its inception in 1984, NRE has grown to become the world’s largest independent supplier of leased locomotives; new and remanufactured locomotives; new and rebuilt mechanical materials; electrical components; technical support; and field services.

Message from the National Railway Equipment Co. Board of Directors

We are heartbroken to confirm that National Railway Equipment CEO Steven L. Beal died suddenly this past Saturday at the age of 46 at his home in Ladue, Missouri. The NRE family is devastated by this tremendous loss. A lifelong “railroad man,” Steven had been in the industry since the age of 12, constantly learning the business from his father, Lawrence, who founded NRE in 1984. When Lawrence passed away in 2010, Steven was well-prepared to assume leadership of the company. He was a remarkable leader for the NRE family and a well-known and highly respected industry advocate. Headquartered in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, employee-owned NRE is a global leader in the rail, marine and power industries, and is the world’s largest independent locomotive supplier.

While we mourn NRE’s loss, company leadership remains committed to the Beal family legacy and to ensuring its continued success. To that end, the board has named long-time NRE leaders, Patrick Frangella and Rob Riley, to serve as members of a newly formed executive committee to oversee all aspects of the company until a new, permanent CEO is selected. The only thing more important to Steven than NRE was his family, including his wife Erin and their two young children, his sister Susan Frangella and her husband Patrick, and Steven and Susan’s mother Sandra Beal. We offer them our heartfelt condolences and our unwavering support through this unthinkable tragedy.