Norfolk Southern locomotive No. 4004, a Progress Rail model PR43C at Anniston, AL, October 28, 2013.

(User:Jase994, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Progress Rail Services Corporation (reporting mark PRLX), a fully owned subsidiary of Caterpillar since 2006, is a supplier of railroad and transit system products and services headquartered in Albertville, Alabama. Founded as a recycling company in 1982, Progress Rail has increased the number of its product and service offerings over time to become one of the largest integrated and diversified suppliers of railroad and transit system products and services in North America. Progress Rail markets products and services worldwide and maintains 110 facilities in the United States, 34 in Mexico, 4 in Canada, 2 in Brazil, 5 in UK, 1 in Italy, and 1 in Germany. Progress Rail is organized into two divisions: Infrastructure and Rolling Stock.


Former logo.



"Progress Rail" traces its roots to a recycling company founded in Albertville, Alabama, United States in 1982. With the merger of Progress Rail's owner Florida Progress Corporation and Carolina Power & Light Company in 2000, it became owned by the new entity Progress Energy.

In February 2005, Progress Energy announced it was selling Progress Rail to One Equity Partners for $405 million. The sale closed on March 28, 2005, with Progress Rail becoming a separate private company.

On May 17, 2006, Caterpillar Inc. announced it would purchase Progress Rail from One Equity Partners for $1 billion in cash, stock and debt. The acquisition by Caterpillar was announced as part of its long-term strategy, Vision 2020.

In July 2011, the company announced it was to assemble EMD locomotives at a plant leased in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.



On May 24, 2008 Caterpillar agreed to acquire all of the capital stock of MGE - Equipamentos e Serviços Ferroviários Ltda., a São Paulo, Brazil-based locomotive component and transit car services company to become part of Caterpillar's Progress Rail Services Corporation. The acquisition of MGE marked Progress Rail's first entry into the South American market.

On June 1, 2010, Caterpillar announced Progress Rail would buy Electro-Motive Diesel from Berkshire Partners LLC and Greenbriar Equity Group LLC for US$820 million. The purchase was completed on August 2, 2010, making Electro-Motive Diesel a wholly owned subsidiary of Progress Rail Services Corporation.

During 2010, Progress Rail acquired two makers of signal equipment, Coast to Coast Signal Engineering and C&S Signaling, as well as a General Electric subsidiary involved in the signal industry; now Progress Rail Inspection & Information Systems.

In February 2012 Progress Rail permanently closed the EMD London, Ontario plant after labor dispute shuttered the manufacturing plant. In 2019, Progress Rail acquired Cleveland Track Material, Inc. which was a subsidiary of Vossloh Cogifer.


Federal legal matters

During October 2013, Caterpillar announced that a federal criminal indictment had been secured against Progress Rail Services. In 2017, the company pleaded guilty to the charges, including dumping parts into the ocean. A $5,000,000 fine was paid as well as $20,000,000 in restitution.


Tasrail PR22L locomotives at the Port of Burnie, with TR16 in front. They were built by Progress Rail Services in the USA circa 2014. 

(Gary Houston, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)




Progress Rail currently offers EMD freight, passenger, repowered and used locomotives.

  • Progress Rail PR22L - The TR class are a class of diesel locomotives built by Progress Rail, Patterson, Georgia, United States for TasRail in 2013–2014. They are currently the main Tasmanian locomotive class handling the majority of mainline services across the state. In December 2011, TasRail awarded Progress Rail a contract for 17 PR22L locomotives. They were the first new locomotives delivered to Tasmania since the Za class in 1976. The first TR class were delivered in November 2013 with the balance delivered in 2014.
  • Progress Rail PR30C - The Progress Rail PR30C is a 3,005 hp (2,240 kW) C-C diesel-electric locomotive rebuilt by Progress Rail. It is the result of a conversion to an existing EMD SD40-2-type locomotive. This involves replacing the existing prime mover with an EPA Tier-II-compliant turbocharged V16 Caterpillar 3516. The prime mover is equipped with an additional exhaust treatment system, in a large box mounted at hood top level, in front of the radiator section. At least six SD40-2s are scheduled for this rebuild, of which five have been completed and entered revenue freight service as of July 2010. The first units were introduced into service by Union Pacific in California in January 2010. They have been assigned to mainline freight operations in the southern part of the state between Long Beach and West Colton. This conversion alters the external appearance of the locomotive; in addition to the addition of the large exhaust treatment box, the radiator section is replaced with one similar in appearance to that of an EMD SD70ACe. An additional PR30C operates as a demonstrator for Progress Rail.
  • Progress Rail PR43C - The Progress Rail PR43C was a 4,300 hp (3,210 kW) C-C genset diesel-electric locomotive built by Progress Rail Services Corporation. It was the result of a conversion of existing EMD SD50 locomotives. This involved replacing the original EMD 645 prime mover with a pair of Caterpillar engines, a 3,600 hp (2,680 kW) 12 cylinder C175 engine and a 700 hp (522 kW) C18 engine. The locomotive was jointly designed by Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern Railway. Development began in 2008. Three locomotives were built; they were manufactured at Progress Rail's Mayfield, Kentucky factory. Two operated in revenue freight service on Norfolk Southern, while a third operated as a demonstrator unit for Progress Rail. At one time Norfolk Southern had four more PR43Cs on order. The locomotives operated by Norfolk Southern worked on freight trains in central Illinois, leading to speculation that they were being tested, as Caterpillar's headquarters are located in Peoria, Illinois. The process of converting an SD50 to a PR43C altered the external appearance of the locomotive; the original radiator section was replaced with a larger one similar in appearance to that of an EMD SD70ACe or SD70M-2. As a result of repeated failures, the locomotives were retired in 2017, and all were cut up for scrap in 2018.



Progress Rail's Signal Division makes grade crossing and wayside signals.


Progress Rail, A Caterpillar Company Overview

Type: Subsidiary
Industry: Transportation
Founded: Albertville, Alabama, United States (1982)
Founder: Billy Ainsworth
Headquarters: Albertville, Alabama
Number of locations: United States - 110, Mexico - 28, Canada - 4, Brazil - 2, UK - 5, Italy - 1, Germany - 1
Area served: Worldwide
Key people: John Newman, CEO
Number of employees 8,000+
Parent: Caterpillar Inc.
Divisions: Infrastructure, Rolling Stock