Reuters

Watching Boeing 737s pass via rail is part of daily life in Renton, Washington.

Residents of Renton, Washington, have gotten used to an unusual sight -- a bunch of jets, plopped atop some trains, trekked through the center of town.

The fuselages travel from Witchita, Kansas, into the town's Boeing plant on a regular basis. With demand for commercial air-crafts on the rise, Boeing has been especially busy of late, increasing jet output by 40 percent over the last three years. The Reston plant builds 737s, 38 of them a month last year ,with the goal of churning out 47 a month by 2017, according to the Seattle Times.

Renton's growth, however, stands out as an employment bright spot for the aircraft giant. As of last fall, Boeing was expected to lay off 700 engineers company-wide, and 800 machinists at the nearby Everett, Washington, facility. Some of them may be re-hired to work in Renton.

To get the fuselages in from Kansas by train, Boeing modified BNSF Railway Company's 89-foot railway cars. BNSF's president explained to the Puget Sound Business Journal that "literally a scratch on these things causes a lot of concern,” meaning workers will sometimes have to clear away brush and tree branches just to make sure the 737s pass by untouched. An impressive feat considering all it has to pass by on the way to the factory:

A BNSF train is pictured delivering a Boeing 737 fuselage in Renton, Washington February 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

Boeing 737 fuselages are delivered by train to a Boeing manufacturing site in Renton, Washington February 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
(REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
Claudia Tourgee photographs a Boeing 737 fuselage being delivered by train to a Boeing manufacturing site in Renton, Washington February 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
(REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
(REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
(REUTERS/Jason Redmond)
Boeing's 737 manufacturing site it pictured with the Seattle skyline in Renton, Washington February 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of shoppers on University Avenue in East Palo Alto, California, which is flanked by two technology campuses.
    Equity

    An Island of Silicon Valley Affordability Says Yes to More Housing

    East Palo Alto is surrounded by tech riches, but that hasn’t necessarily helped longtime residents, who welcome a state law mandating zoning reform

  2. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  3. Equity

    What the Supreme Court Said About the 2020 Census Citizenship Question

    In oral arguments, conservative justices asked about data science, while liberals asked what the citizenship question was really for.

  4. A crowded room of residents attend a local public forum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
    Life

    Are Local Politics As Polarized As National? Depends on the Issue.

    Republican or Democrat, even if we battle over national concerns, research finds that in local politics, it seems we can all just get along—most of the time.

  5. Life

    How to Inspire Girls to Become Carpenters and Electricians

    Male-dominated trades like construction, plumbing, and welding can offer job security and decent pay. A camp aims to show girls these careers are for them, too.