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Johnstown America - Railroad Equipment

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Company Name Johnstown America
Category Railroad Equipment
Year Founded 1991
Termination Acquired
Successor/Parent FreightCar America (Details)
Country United States (Details)



Company History: Johnstown America was created from the railcar manufacturing division of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. When Johnstown America's founder Thomas M. Begel first heard that Bethlehem Steel was looking to divest its freight car division, he was decidedly nonplussed. When a colleague asked him if he was interested in acquiring the division, Begel responded, "not a chance. No way in the world." History had taught Begel a lesson he did not want to repeat.

As chief executive of Chicago-based Pullman Standard Co. prior to founding Johnstown America, Begel had experienced first-hand the potential problems involved in railcar manufacture. The idea of reliving that experience again prompted his unequivocal response in 1990. During the late 1970s, railcars were marketed as tax shelters, creating an inducement that artificially stimulated demand, or, as Begel put it, "every dentist had to own a couple freight cars." Railcar production the United States, which normally hovered around 60,000, increased recklessly, jumping to 85,000 by 1980, when capacity industrywide had mushroomed to 150,000. When the tax advantages were curbed in 1981, roughly 400,000 railcars were waiting for customers that did not exist, swamping the market.

Successor/Parent History:
FreightCar America—the home of the aluminum bodied railcar, is proud of its heritage of designing and building highly productive railcars. And we have good reason. FreightCar America has been manufacturing quality railcars since 1901. The generations of employees responsible for creating its reputation for quality have made FreightCar America the largest North American manufacturer of aluminum bodied railroad freight cars used to haul coal. FreightCar America is now using its design knowledge, enhanced production facilities, and unequaled experience in aluminum bodied railcar manufacturing to expand its product line to include a wide variety of freight cars and to provide superior value to its customers.

Quality at FreightCar America is not just an idea—it’s the high degree of excellence every FreightCar America employee is focused on achieving. FreightCar America is committed to building quality freight cars for its valued customers.

Brief History:
The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, Los Angeles' Hollywood is famed for filmmaking.

Item created by: gdm on 2019-03-04 12:21:00. Last edited by gdm on 2019-03-04 12:23:00

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