800.458.2235 sales@freightcar.net

Building On A Heritage of Quality

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.


Our History


The Cambria Steel Company is formed and builds its first order of mine freight cars.photo_history1901


Midvale Steel and Ordinance becomes part of the Bethlehem Steel Company.  Many years later, design and production grew to include a full line of covered and open top steel railcars.  The company became known as the “Freight Car Division”.photo_history1923


The all-welded Mayari R hopper car is built for Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad.  All plates of the car that come in direct contact with the coal lading were made of Mayari R (developed by Bethlehem Steel) because of its high resistance to corrosion, battering, piercing, and abrasion.photo_history1947


The first car kits are sold. Car kits, a concept developed by Bethlehem Steel in the 1950s, are do-it yourself packages of car bodies and underframes that are purchased by railroads and assembled in their shops.



The first 70-ton hopper car is manufactured.  This car was nicknamed the “Committee Car” because it was developed by a committee of engineers from three of the nation’s major railroads.  Over 10,000 Committee Cars, and their 90-100 ton big brothers were built in Johnstown, PA.



The shops are equipped to build hopper cars, gondola cars, ore cars, flat cars, mine cars, and special purpose cars by mass production methods. Production reaches 50 cars per 24 hour period.photo_history1974


The aluminum-bodied BethGon® is introduced.photo_history1986


The volume of cars manufactured in Johnstown reaches a historical peak when CSX Corporation of Jacksonville, FL places an order for 550 high-side Coke cars, each with a 5,300 cubic foot capacity.photo_history1990


In September, Johnstown America produces the 20,000th aluminum BethGon®. In October, Johnstown America produces the 25,000th aluminum bodied car.


Johnstown America adds to its railcar manufacturing capabilities by acquiring Freight Car Services in Danville, IL.



The AutoFlood II™ aluminum automatic discharge hopper car equipped with MegaFlo™ discharge door system is introduced.photo_history1996


The 50,000th BethGon Coalporter® is manufactured.photo_history1998


The product line is diversified to include a redesigned Mill Gondola product line and AutoFlood III™.  photo_history2000

Johnstown America is issued a patent for a “Railroad car having a cold formed center sill.” This one piece, light weight, high strength (70K yield) cold rolled steel backbone is a key component in every FreightCar America coal car, having first been introduced in 1997.photo_history2000b


The BethGon is redesigned to advance the state of the art in aluminum bodied coal gondola car design and is named BethGon II®.photo_history2001


The Johnstown facility manufactures the first-ever order of the VersaCoil™ gondola Coil Car for Canadian Pacific Railway.


For the second consecutive year, the company earns TTX’s SECO (Supplier Evaluation Committee) Award for commitment to customer satisfaction

and product excellence.photo_history2002b


JAC Holdings International, Inc. (formerly operating as Johnstown America) announced that it has changed its name to FreightCar America, Inc., effective December 17, 2004. The new name better reflects the company’s primary business as a manufacturer of railroad freight cars.



FreightCar America completes its initial public offering of common stock and lists its common stock on the Nasdaq National Market.

FreightCar America celebrates the grand opening of its railcar manufacturing facility in Roanoke, Virginia. FreightCar America leases the facility from Norfolk Southern Corporation.photo_history2005


FreightCar America celebrates delivery of the 100,000th aluminum bodied railcar produced by the company. A ceremony was held at FreightCar America’s Danville, Illinois manufacturing facility where the 100,000th aluminum car was built. photo_history2006


FreightCar America delivers the first newly designed BethGon® II hybrid coal car to Norfolk Southern Corporation. Stainless steel is used in the tubs and lower parts of the car body in combination with lighter weight aluminum which is used for the upper sections of the car body. This product offering would later also be ordered by CSX Corporation. photo_history2007


FreightCar America introduces its light weight, mechanically fastened, articulated intermodal 5×40’ double-stack railcar. Designed to meet the growing demand for movement of containerized goods, this intermodal railcar solution provides superior fuel efficiency while contributing to reduced highway congestion. The company would later add a 3×53’ articulated intermodal product offering. photo_history2008


FreightCar America introduces its new VersaFlood™ aggregate car design with lower tare weight, enhanced capacity and dramatically improved operational advantages for moving sand, rock or minerals. The VersaFlood™ features the MegaFlo IA™ (independent automatic) door system with All-in-One touch plate control panel which operates the hopper doors independently or all at once.



FreightCar America completes its acquisition of the business assets of DTE Rail Services. This acquisition has bolstered FreightCar America’s existing parts and repair service capabilities. The acquired business is known as FreightCar Rail Services, LLC.



In February, FreightCar America, Inc. announced the sub-lease of approximately 25% of Navistar, Inc.’s Cherokee, Alabama manufacturing facility. FreightCar commenced operations at this state-of-the-art production facility in the second half of 2013. The facility has the capacity to build over 7,000 railcars per year.



In December, 2014, FreightCar America, Inc. announced a $10 million capacity expansion of the Cherokee, Alabama facility. This capacity expansion adds an additional production line at the facility, increasing FreightCar’s total investment in the facility to approximately $33 million, covering about one-third of the entire facility.