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
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
and provides aftermarket services.