Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) may be best-known for its heavy duty truck engines, but the Columbus-based manufacturer thinks it’s in position to make some noise in the high speed passenger rail business as well. Earlier this month, Cummins delivered the first QSK95 engine, the most powerful the company has ever built, designed specifically for the rail market. The engines are the result of a major investment to expand and upgrade manufacturing, testing and research and development capabilities at the company’s Seymour Engine Plant. This weekend on Inside Indiana Business Television, Global Rail and Defense Business General Manager Melina Kennedy said it is an exciting time to be in the passenger rail business.
“We’ll be powering locomotives that are high speed in Chicago, Florida, California and globally,” said Kennedy. “We’ll be powering vehicles all over the world. We’re going to be entering new markets and growing the rail business and that is exciting.”
In 2012, Cummins and Siemens Rail Systems announced a partnership that pairs the Cummins QSK95 engine with Siemens’ new Charger locomotive. The locomotive will power All Aboard Florida, the first privately-owned, operated and maintained passenger-rail system in the United States. It is to eventually connect Miami and Orlando and is expected to begin operations in late 2016 from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Cummins recently christened a $70 million Technical Center at the company’s Seymour plant, which is a global focal point for development of engines and low emissions technology. In addition to rail, engineers at the Jackson County facility are working on applications for the mining, oil and gas and marine sectors.
The Seymour Technical Center will be home to more than 400 workers and is part of an approximately $300 million investment in Jackson County in recent years. The new tech center will boost Cummins’ overall employment in Seymour to 1,100.