BOSTON (Reuters) - General Electric Co plans to build a new factory to assemble railroad locomotives in Fort Worth, Texas, the largest U.S. conglomerate said on Thursday.
The factory will employ about 500 people, cost about $96 million and begin operation next year, GE said.
It added that it is also adding about 250 new workers at its main locomotive manufacturing facility in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Locomotive sales, which declined during the recession, have turned the corner as major railroads including Union Pacific Corp and Norfolk Southern Corp start to invest in new capital equipment to meet rising demand to carry commodities including coal and corn, which are mainly transported by rail.
GE's transportation unit, which makes locomotives, last month reported an 18 percent rise in first-quarter sales, to $903 million.
Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Gerald E. McCormick