GM trains

Yes, it’s General Motors again, this time in the rail sector. In 1930, CEO of GM Alfred P Sloan was convinced that his conglomerate approach to making cars could be applied to the wider transportation world, and that year, Electro-Motive Company (CEM). GM correctly guessed that US railways would switch to diesel power away from steam, resulting in demand for new engines, and saw synergy for this power source with its cars as well.

EMC eventually became America’s largest producer of diesel locomotives alongside rival General Electric, though beneficial cooperation with GM’s automotive arm was elusive in the event. It has exported all over the world including UK as in this example a EMD 710 12-cylinder diesel engine with a power of 3000 hp. GM sold EMC in 2005 to a private equity group; in 2010, he in turn sold EMC to the hardware giant caterpillar.

The truth is, we could make a big fuss about the random things GM has done over the years. Other things include the M-18 Hellcat tank and the DUKW amphibious amphibious truck during World War II, and a large division of aircraft which produced refrigerators, dishwasher, ovens, trash compactors, and washing machine until he sold this arm in 1979, the remains today being part of Electrolux. GM also built the first mechanical heart. Phew.

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