USA: The 53,000m² facility in the centre of Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, USA, was sold to the local company Wilmerding Warehouse for $1.3m at the end of 2023.
The company had already agreed with the union to close the plant back in 2022. According to Wabtec’s representative Tim Bader, the plant has been operating at less than a third of its capacity in recent years. The building has an outdated layout that is not suited to modern production processes and requires excessive maintenance costs due to its dilapidated state. The remaining 94 employees will retire before the plant closes completely on 1 July.
Wabtec’s plant at Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, USA. Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Wilmerding site was in many ways the beginning of Wabtec’s history, founded in the 19th century by the inventor of the railway air brake, George Westinghouse. The company even bears his name, as Wabtec stands for Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies. The company moved into this building in 1889 to expand its brake production. In recent years, the plant has been producing components for locomotives.