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Encyclopedia > Wabtec


Wabtec Corporation was formed in November 1999 when Westinghouse Air Brake Company merged with MotivePower Industries, Inc.

The original Westinghouse Air Brake was founded in 1869 by George Westinghouse shortly after he successfully demonstrated the first straight air brake systems to the railroad industry. Three years later, Westinghouse developed the first automatic air brake system, which had a built-in safeguard whereby the brakes on the entire train would apply automatically if the train should separate or if air pressure should escape due to leakage in the system. This system was first installed on a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train in Pittsburgh in 1872, and its efficiency dramatically improved the safety and popularity of rail transportation in North America. Throughout the 20th century, Westinghouse Air Brake maintained worldwide leadership in rail equipment technologies designed to improve the safety and productivity of customers in the transportation industries. In 1990, the company's assets and the WABCO name were purchased in a management buyout, and a new WABCO was created that went public in 1995.

MotivePower Industries began rebuilding locomotives for U.S. railroads in the early 1970s. In 1991, the company initiated a strategy to expand its capabilities by acquiring various companies that manufactured and distributed locomotive parts. Each of the acquired companies provided value-added, engineered products and had leading market shares. The company went public in 1994.

Today, Wabtec manufactures a broad range of products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles. The company also builds new locomotives up to 4,000 horsepower (3 MW) and provides aftermarket services.


1001 Air Brake Avenue Wilmerding, Pa. 15148 (15 minutes east of Pittsburgh) Executive Management

William E. Kassling Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Alvaro Garcia-Tunon Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Secretary Locations

About 40 manufacturing plants, service centers and sales offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America


About 4,300


Freight and passenger rail, transit, marine, power generation, off-highway equipment and industrial Products

Brake subsystems and related products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles; electronic train-control equipment; new switcher and commuter locomotives; coupling, door control and air conditioning systems for transit vehicles; and heat-exchange equipment for rail, marine, power generation, off-highway and industrial applications Services

Locomotive overhauls; locomotive and freight car fleet maintenance; supplier-managed inventory; component repair, upgrade and reconditioning

Fiscal year

December 31 Stock Exchange

New York ticker symbol


External links


  Results from FactBites:
Workers at Wabtec see jobs go to Mexico (558 words)
Wabtec Corp. has reached an impasse with union workers at its Motor Coils plant in Braddock and is in the process of closing the facility and moving production to Mexico, company Chairman William Kassling said yesterday.
Wabtec last month informed workers at the Braddock plant that it planned to shift production to Mexico as part of company-wide efforts to reduce costs.
Wabtec, formed last year from the merger of Pittsburgh companies Westinghouse Air Brake Co. and MotivePower Industries Inc., will have about 440 employees in the region once the Braddock plant is shuttered.
Wabtec selling operations to GE unit (477 words)
Wabtec Corp., the Wilmerding-based railroad products supplier, said yesterday that it had agreed to sell a group of businesses that make locomotive products to GE Transportation Systems for $240 million in cash.
Wabtec will continue to own former MotivePower businesses that provide original equipment makers with products such as heat exchangers, electronic components, brake rigging and sanitation systems, as well as its locomotive plant in Boise, Idaho, which builds new and remanufactured locomotives for specialty switching yards and commuter lines.
Wabtec said it also would continue to develop what it called a "significant base" of operations in Mexico through ownership of a multiproduct manufacturing facility and foundry in San Luis Potosi.
  More results at FactBites »



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