Knoxville Locomotive Works announced Thursday it will invest $6.1 million in a plant that will produce environmentally friendly locomotives and employ 203 workers over the next three years.

"KLW is making the first locomotives built in Tennessee," KLW Chairman Pete Claussen said in a news release. "Our competitively priced engines are environmentally advanced, fuel efficient, high productivity machines that use advanced diesel engine technology. We hope and anticipate that they will become well-established in the marketplace."

To support the launch of its assembly and fabrication plant, KLW will purchase eight acres and two buildings adjacent to its 300 West Quincy Ave. shop, located north of downtown Knoxville, according to a statement released by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

In addition, the company plans to renovate its current facility by extending the assembly line, and installing indoor railroad tracks and new overhead cranes to support its fabrication, heavy equipment and parts assembly process.

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