GE-Wabtec merger of legendary railroad suppliers creates an estimated $8-billion corporation

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WILMERDING, Pa. — The deed is done.

GE Transportation and Wabtec are now a single, merged company.

In documents released early on Monday, officials with the combined company expect Wabtec Corp.'s divisions to earn about $8.4 billion in revenue producing locomotives and parts, mining equipment, heavy-duty diesel engines, railroad components, information services, and transit systems.

“We are very excited to complete the merger of our two companies," Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and CEO, said in a statement. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together nearly four centuries of collective experience to create a technologically advanced leader with a highly complementary set of capabilities to move and improve the world."

GE Transportation will now be called Wabtec Freight, but will retain its headquarters in Chicago and its current CEO, Rafael Santana. The group will also include the Wabtec Freight group, which makes track and freight car components.

Wabtec will keep its global headquarters in Wilmerding, near Pittsburgh, though a Transit group will be headquartered in Paris. Wabtec President and CEO Ray Belter will stay on as Wabtec chief and work as interim transit leader.

The finality of the merger is bittersweet in Erie, Pa., which has hosted one of GE's plants for more than 100 years. Locals tell the Erie Times-News that they hope for the future but fondly remember generations of well-paid work making locomotives for the world. 

The merger combines two of the longest standing business of former competitors General Electric and Westinghouse, whose 19th century founders, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse battled for dominance in industrial progress during their lifetimes.

While GE is famous for locomotives and prime movers, it has expanded its expertise to include software for freight applications and locomotive control. Wabtec has branched out from air brakes and electrical controls to a menu of parts for new-built and refurbished freight cars and locomotives, as well as positive train control systems. Most Class I railroads and several large commuter railroads now use Wabtec's I-ETMS systems.

More information is available online. 

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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