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NRE Electronics Calgary Facility Continues to Uphold Mission

As a global leader in design and manufacturing, NRE Electronics’ innovative solutions provide locomotive efficiency, state-of-the-art global communication systems, and high quality control systems to the international rail market.

Founded in Calgary, Canada in 2004, NRE Electronics continues to pride
itself as a leading design and manufacturing facility. While providing high quality and reliable products to customers worldwide, NRE Electronics continues to hold uphold their mission.

The primary product developed by NRE Electronics is locomotive performance enhancement equipment designed to allow aging locomotives to be upgraded to current state-of-the-art designs. With industrial hardware and configurable software this equipment is more versatile and reliable than any system on the market today, while remaining competitively priced.

NRE Electronics’ services can be used in a wide variety of locomotive applications, and can be customized and tailored to specific needs. The NFORCE Control System uses a power microprocessor to control locomotive systems and improve performance, while NCOMPASS places location & operation information at an operator’s fingertips.

“NRE is committed to backing NRE Electronics products with excellence” Rod Brooks says, “Our products and designs are developed by skilled engineers, technicians, and programmers with extensive experience in the railway, power generation, and industrial control industries.”

Facility Spotlight: Precision Manufacturing Right Here in the U.S.A.

In 2016, NRE acquired HK Engine Components, a manufacturer of locomotive power assembly components. With this acquisition, operating as NRE Hagerstown, NRE significantly expanded its capabilities as a vertically integrated manufacturer.

“NRE has blended the HKEC and NRE emission solutions into a system that is emissions compliant and very fuel efficient,” said Mohammad Albataineh, General Manager of NRE Hagerstown. “NRE now has the in-house capability to produce new power assembly components, rather than buying from a vendor. That has saved NRE and its customers both time and money, lowering prices and shortening lead times.”

NRE’s EMD® power assembly offerings include new and remanufactured heads, liners, and pistons for 567, 645, and 710 engines, manufactured in NRE Hagerstown’s Maryland facility, using castings poured at NRE Hagertown’s foundry in West Virginia. All components are built to OEM or better specifications.

NRE Hagerstown specializes in precision manufacturing, producing complex grey and ductile iron castings, and a variety of low-volume complex castings between 10 and 500 pounds. NRE Hagerstown is constantly improving the quality of its products and the productivity of its manufacturing processes.

“All of these products are produced with precision manufacturing and complete control of the design and manufacturing process, one-hundred percent in house from foundry to machining, right here in the USA,” said Brandon Schwartz, Vice President of North American Sales for NRE.

Today, NRE is the only aftermarket supplier of power assemblies that manufactures its own key components in U.S. facilities, supplying complete solutions from power assembly components to fuel injectors, with more than 700 kits running in North America.

Satisfied customers include Class 1, Short Line, and Transit Railroads, as well as many international customers throughout the world operating locomotives equipped with 645 and 710 engines.

Locomotive Spotlight: SD40s in Africa

When you think of NRE, do you think of a North American locomotive company? If so, think again. NRE was recently contracted by Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) to provide remanufactured SD40-2 locomotives for its port in Gabon.

GSEZ is a joint venture involving OLAM International Limited. OLAM is a major player in agribusiness worldwide and a presence in 40 African countries. GSEZ was under immense pressure to start moving tonnage in-country to and from the port. They selected NRE due to its ability to deliver under very tight deadlines.

“The special request on this project was the aggressive timeline, which can briefly be described as Mission Impossible,” said Mike Elbaz, NRE VP of International Sales. “However, NRE stepped up to the challenge and was able to show the client that NRE had the core equipment, expertise, and facilities to take on this project,” he added.

This project began in April of 2018. The customer originally planned to purchase new locomotives. However, NRE was able to provide a remanufactured locomotive, delivered at a lower price and a faster timeline, which proved to be a better solution.

“The market in Africa and the Middle-East must be looked at as one, and it is an emerging market for diesel electric locomotives,” Elbaz said. “NRE will continue to be both creative and have a clear strategy and vision to ensure we don’t miss it.”

Product Spotlight: APU Locomotive Control Units

NRE has just completed and delivered two APU Locomotive Control Units to Ontario Northland. These units were remanufactured from converted Amtrak F40PH Locomotives 317 and 394.

The APU Locomotive Control Unit is a complete self-contained mobile electric generating plant capable of supplying all electrical power required for the heating, lighting, air conditioning, and other hotel power needs of up to 12 connected passenger cars.

The units contain twin alternator sets, each capable of operating independently or in parallel. The set nearest the “front” end of the cab car is the master set, and adjacent to it are the control devices for functions common to both power plants.

Buy America

NRE has forever been a proponent of keeping business local. Parts not manufactured in-house are purchased from domestic vendors whenever possible. This deep-rooted belief, paired with a stringent attention to quality control, made completing and successfully passing NRE’s recent Buy America audit an achievable task.

Buy America is a Federal Transit Administration mandate that requires all FTA-assisted rolling stock procurements to (i) be assembled in the United States, and (ii) contain more than 65% (FY19) domestic content, by cost, including iron, steel, and components produced in the United States.  The objective of Buy America is to support U.S. jobs and the U.S. manufacturing industry by maximizing the use of domestic products.

While NRE passed the audit handily, it was an intense process that required significant effort. Compliance to this mandate is known in the industry as a challenge, and requires strict attention to quality and detail on a daily basis. Well-planned internal processes are paramount in helping the audit progress successfully.

One component to being prepared for Buy America is record keeping. A section of the audit required a listing of each part’s details, including cost, manufacturer information, and domestic content. Collecting this information would be a time-consuming task without a good handle on inventory and data integrity.

NRE’s notoriety of handling their customers and projects with a “nose to the grindstone” attitude while maintaining reliability and accountability has garnered the attention of the transit sector. NRE has been awarded more than 50 engines in this business segment alone. All of these engines will be certified to the Tier 0+ emission standard with kits produced by NRE.

While establishing Buy America compliance is a challenging task, proving itself triumphant is the culmination of hard work and attention to detail that NRE prides itself on.

NRE Reopens Paducah Plant to Meet Increase in Orders

As of July 8, 2019, Employees have begun Light Repairs and Inspections of Locomotives

Citing a rebounding rail industry and an increase in work orders, NRE  reopened its 450,000 square foot Paducah, Kentucky plant on July 8, 2019. Employees have begun making light repairs and inspections of locomotives, as well as provide other service offerings.

“We are very excited to be able to reopen the Paducah plant,” said Steven Beal, President of NRE. “The Paducah plant and its employees have a nearly 100 year history of providing quality locomotive products and services. Our goal since we shuttered it two years ago has always been to bring it back online and to get our employees back to work,” he added.

NRE is actively seeking applicants to fill available positions at the plant as the plant increases its operations. If interested, please visit www.nre.com/careers.

When full-strength, NRE Paducah provides the following services:
• New Locomotive Builds
• Remanufactured Locomotives
• Locomotive Service
• Field Service
• New Parts and Components
• Remanufactured Parts and Components
• Salvage

“The reopening of the Paducah facility is merely the beginning,” said Beal. “Paducah will be a key component of the future of our company and we look forward to growing together.”

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

Locomotive Leasing

A national leader in locomotive technology, NRE is committed not only to providing clients with the most efficient, cutting-edge and environmentally friendly engines on the market, but also to providing the most cost-effective methods for clients to access the equipment they need. Through its locomotive leasing program, NRE provides a flexible, customizable financing program that can meet the needs of clients of any size.

With a fleet that includes SW100s, SW1500s, MP15ACs, GP10s, GP38s, GP40s, GP50s, SD38s, SD40-2/3s and SD60s, NRE has the right 4- or 6-axle locomotive for any freight company’s loads, from short line to long haul. Specs range from 18 ton per axle for general purposes to 34 ton per axle special duty locomotives, with power availability from 500 horsepower per unit to 3,600 horsepower per unit.

With the broad shoulders and know-how to offer worldwide leasing capability, NRE also has the independence and flexibility to build the leasing package that best fits a client’s usage and budgetary needs. Companies can choose either short- or long-term leases and can take the worry out of day-to-day operations with full-service, full-maintenance leases. NRE also offers conditional sales agreements. Companies looking for a cost-effective way to upgrade can explore a sale/leaseback option, in which NRE purchases their locomotives; modifies, upgrades or rebuilds according to need; and then leases the equipment back to the company. NRE’s financial team can also build direct or third-party lease and sublease agreements through banks, railroads and shippers.

Whatever a company’s needs, NRE representatives will custom-design a lease or sales agreement quickly and efficiently. And when a company leases through NRE, they do so with the confidence that they are working with a strong ally with not only the size, but also the leading technology, to ensure that they’ll receive the best locomotives and service in the industry.