Knoxville Locomotive Works will add more than 200 jobs to the area in the next three years at its location along I-275 in north Knoxville.
One homegrown Knoxville company is expanding. Knoxville Locomotive Works will add more than 200 jobs to the area in the next three years at its location along I-275 in north Knoxville.
Knoxville Locomotive Works opened in 1998 and grows every day. 15 years later, the company is changing the game. They are manufacturing a new locomotive and are the first ones around the state to do it.
"It's far more fuel efficient, it's got increased power to many of the locomotives you see on the railroads today, and most importantly it meets the EPA emissions standards," said General Counsel for Locomotive Works Greg Hall.
They call it the "Manhattan Project" or the "2250." Their prototype is already built and they are already working on one for their customers.
The new train has features that make it more environmentally friendly and gas efficient. Workers at Knoxville Locomotive Works say the engines are much more powerful. They said the new engines burn the fuel at a higher RPM, causing it to burn the fuel cleaner.
"It's been out on the road travelling across country being tested and utilized by what we hope are going to be future customers," said Hall.
This is great for business and the environment, but it also will give the Knoxville community a large boost by adding such a large number of jobs. The project involves purchasing the adjacent properties for more company space. It will create a total of 203 new jobs.
"I think this is a trend that we have been seeing since January of this year. We have announced more than 1900 new jobs created here in the innovation valley region," said Rhonda Rice with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
The local impact is something this company has been focused on since it began.
"They could have gone to a number of different places to do this line of work, but they chose to expand here," said Rice.
"It's another industry. It's a redevelopment of this part of town which could use a shot in the arm which we hope will help do that," said Hall.
They are still in the process of buying the adjacent properties. This land will be used to expand the tracks and add space to work.
Currently, they have the space to manufacture up to 20 trains at a time. With the new property, they will have space to work on up to 100 trains. The company hopes to have the expansion up and running within a year.