If you are not familiar with Westinghouse Air Brake, the company was founded in 1869 by George Westinghouse. In 1869, he invented the railway air brake and began manufacturing it in Pittsburgh. The company’s headquarters were located in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, and the air brake manufacturing facility was moved there in 1889. In addition to manufacturing air brakes, the company also created electronic products and produced munitions during both world wars.
The Westinghouse name has been associated with new railroad technology since 1869, when the company was first associated with electrical devices. The company later went on to introduce new policies and benefits for their employees. For example, the company was the first to institute a nine-hour workday and a 55-hour workweek, both of which were considered moderate at the time. The company also offered its employees half-days and disability payments for working a normal work week, which was unheard of in the 1870s. These benefits have made railroads safer today.
The company acquired a number of assets to increase its domestic reach and to diversify its product offerings. For example, it purchased Australian company Futuris Industrial Products for $15 million and Vapor Corp. for $65 million. In addition, it purchased Stone Safety Service Corporation and Stone U.K. Limited, both of which manufacture air braking systems for passenger railcars. The company also acquired H.P.S.r.l, which manufactures air brake systems and draft gears for the passenger railcar market in Italy.