GE already has 4,000 employees in Chicago.
The mayor said the move will bring 150 jobs to Chicago by 2014; some of them will be relocations from Erie, Pa.; others will be new hires.
"The fact that we have a highly educated and skilled workforce made Chicago the right choice for GE Transportation," Emanuel said.
GE Transportation makes equipment for rail, mining and marine industries. It used to have a plant in the western suburbs that is now closed.
It's not certain yet where in the city the global headquarters will be.