Trinity Industries

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Trinity Industries Inc.
Traded as NYSETRN
Industry Conglomerate
Founded Dallas, Texas,
United States (1933)
Headquarters Dallas, Texas,
United States
Key people
Timothy R. Wallace, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO; Chairman of Trinity Rail Group
James E. Perry, CFO and Vice President
D. Stephen Menzies, Senior Vice President; Group President of Trinity Rail
William A. McWhirter, Senior Vice President; Group President
Charles Michel, Vice President, CAO and Controller
Mary E. Henderson, Vice President and Chief Audit Executive
Virginia Gray, Vice President (Organizational Development)
Antonio Carrillo, Vice President
Revenue Increase $US 4.4 billion (2013)
Increase $US 375.5 million (2013)
Number of employees
9,270 (2010)

Trinity Industries Inc. owns a variety of businesses which provide product and services to the industrial, energy, transportation and construction sectors.

Now, the company has five business groups which are Rail Group, Construction Products Group, Inland Barge Group, Energy Equipment Group and Railcar Leasing & Management Services Group.[1]



The company, first known as Trinity Steel, was founded by C. J. Bender in Dallas in 1933. W. Ray Wallace, an engineering graduate of Louisiana Tech, worked for Dallas's Austin Bridge Company in 1944 before joining the company in 1946 as its seventeenth employee. At the time Trinity Steel manufactured butane tanks in a Dallas County mule barn. In 1958 Trinity Steel merged with Dallas Tank Company, which was also founded in 1933, and Ray Wallace became the new firm's president and first chief executive officer. At the time Trinity had revenues reaching $2.5 million and employed 200 workers. While some employees of the firm in other states eventually unionized, Texas workers never formed a union. For a time the company profited by producing larger tanks that enabled it to enter the petroleum business and do steel fabrication for refineries. In addition, to free up capital, it established an investment company to buy trucks and lease them back to the firm. Nonetheless, by 1957 Trinity faced competition and declines in the petroleum industry. Dallas Tank, Trinity Steel, and Bender-Wallace Development Company merged in 1958 to form Trinity Industries, Incorporated, and went public.


In 1970 Trinity diversified with the acquisition of 153 acres (0.62 km2) of land adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and in 1971 established its first real estate subsidiary. Acquisition of Mosher Steel in 1973, after initially contracting work out to them, enhanced the company's structural business. Among projects completed by the firm's structural division were the Texas Stadium, New York's World Trade Center, the Balboa Bridge in Panama, the Pennzoil Building, and two buildings in Moscow.


By the 1980s two subsidiaries, Gamble's Incorporated of Alabama and Mosher Steel of Texas, manufactured structural products including materials for drilling platforms, highway bridge components, commercial-high-rise buildings, and other girders and beams. The firm's marine subsidiary, Equitable Shipyards, produced LASH or Lighter Aboard Ship barges, riverboats for use by Hilton Hotels, and other craft for industrial uses. Hackney, Incorporated, its metal components subsidiary, produced materials for piping systems. Trinity produced completed railcars, including tank cars, covered and open hoppers, and gondolas to transport chemicals, coal, structural steel and other commodities, at locations in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Longview, Texas, and held two railcar leasing subsidiaries. The company also produced containers for fertilizer, liquified petroleum gas, and nuclear fuel and waste. In 1981 Trinity acquired a metal fabrication firm at Channelview, Texas, and Babcock and Wilcox plants in Elkhart, Indiana, and Koppel, Pennsylvania, and in 1983 it acquired Halter Marine. In 1984 Trinity acquired the railcar designs and production facilities of the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company, once the largest railcar manufacturer in North America. Trinity also acquired the railcar designs of General American Transportation Corporation and the auto rack designs of Portec-Paragon. In 1986 the designs and production facilities of Greenville Steel Car Company were purchased, and in 1987 those of Ortner Freight Car were also acquired.


In the 1990s expansion continued with the acquisition of the Transit Mix Concrete and Materials Company of Beaumont, Texas, Beiard Industries, Syro Steel and Stearns Airport Equipment of Fort Worth, Texas. By 1993 revenues exceeded $1.5 billion, and the firm employed 13,000 people.[2]


In 2001 Trinity Industries acquired the designs and production facilities of Thrall Car Manufacturing Company, which fabricates railroad freight cars.[3]

June 2006[edit]

The company completed the sale of its weld pipe fittings business.

August 2006[edit]

The company sold its European Rail business to International Railway Systems S.A.

December 2006[edit]

During the year ended December 31, 2006, it made two acquisitions in the Construction Products Group.

April 2007[edit]

The company's subsidiary, Transit Mix Concrete & Materials Company, acquired a combined group of East Texas asphalt, ready mix concrete and aggregates businesses operating under the name Armor Materials.[4]


Rail Group[edit]

The group manufactures and sells railroad cars (hopper cars, gondolas, flat cars, roll cars, intermodal cars[disambiguation needed], tank cars, etc.) and component parts. Its customers include railroads, leasing companies and shippers of products.

Construction Products Group[edit]

The group produces concrete, aggregates, highway products, beams and girders used in highway bridge construction. Its customers include contractors and subcontractors in the construction and foundation industry.

Guardrail controversy[edit]

In 2014, allegations were made claiming that Trinity Industries made cost-cutting changes to guardrail designs that resulted in unsafe products being deployed on US highways. The alleged changes were made in 2005 and were being sold as the ET-Plus. The company removed approximately one inch of metal from guardrail ends. The change would render a crucial safety feature of the guardrails inoperable. Automobile accidents involving the ET-Plus system have involved guardrails penetrating vehicles and causing injury to the driver. Lawsuits regarding the guardrails causing injury to motorists were pending in US courts in 2014.[5]

The Federal Highway Administration was made aware of the design changes in 2012 when Joshua Harman, co-owner of guardrail manufacture and installation companies SPIG Industry and Selco Construction services, informed them of the undisclosed redesign he discovered during litigation in 2011. The lawsuit he filed against Trinity on behalf of the Federal government found Trinity liable for fraud against the government with a $175 million verdict that would be tripled to $525 million.[6]

In January 2014, Nevada banned the use of the guardrails due to Trinity's lack of disclosure.[7] By October 2014, 14 states had banned the guardrails.[6] A report by the University of Alabama at Birmingham which examined data from almost a decade of crash reports concluded the ET-Plus rail to be nearly three times more likely to result in fatality than the previous version of the guardrail. In October, a memorandum was issued requesting information from state transportation departments regarding the ET-Plus' performance.[7] In addition, the Federal Highway Administration demanded the guardrail be retested. Trinity has stopped shipping the ET-Plus until the additional tests have been approved.[8]

As of March 2015, the Virginia Department of Transportation had moved forward in replacing the controversial guardrails.[9] Up to that point, 42 states had stopped installation of new ET-Plus guardrails pending further testing.[10] In the same month, the analysis by federal officials on the crash tests performed by Trinity Industries was released. The report focused on the last four of eight crash tests. All four received passing grades.[11][12] The driver's door was severely damaged in the last safety test,[11][12] which led to accusations that the Federal Highway Administration is using older testing standards, rather than the ones published in 2003.[11]

In June 2015, Trinity Industries was fined a total of $663 million for defrauding the Federal Highway Administration. The original verdict of $175 million was tripled under the False Claims Act. The judge ordered additional civil penalties, in which each false certification made to the government was charged $8,250. There were 16,771 false certifications, totaling $138 million.[13]

Inland Barge Group[edit]

The group manufactures dry-cargo barges and hopper barges.

Energy Equipment Group[edit]

The group manufactures tank containers and tank heads for pressure vessels, propane tanks and structural wind towers.

Railcar Leasing and Management Services Group[edit]

The group provides fleet management, maintenance and leasing services.[14]

Trinity Industries Leasing operates DOT-111 Tank cars for lease in North America.

See also[edit]


  1. ^, Google Finance review
  2. ^ Handbook of Texas Online
  3. ^ "Trinity Industries Agrees to Acquire Thrall Car". New York Times. 2001-08-14. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Galli, Cindy (18 September 2014). "Outrage Over Guardrail Crashes Tied to Lost Limbs, Deaths". ABC News (ABC News). ABC. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Kessler, Aaron M., and Danielle Ivory, "Virginia to Remove Suspect Guardrails", New York Times, October 27, 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  7. ^ a b Ivory, Danielle, and Aaron M. Kessler, "Highway Guardrail May Be Deadly, States Say", New York Times, October 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  8. ^ Ivory, Danielle, and Aaron M. Kessler, "Trinity Industries Halts Shipments of Highway Guardrails", New York Times, October 24, 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  9. ^ "VDOT moves forward with plan to remove controversial guardrail". WUSA. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Galli, Cindy (13 March 2015). "Controversial Guardrail System Passes Government Crash Tests". ABC News. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Kessler, Aaron M.; Ivory, Danielle (13 March 2015). "Guardrails Said to Pass Safety Tests". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Lee, Patrick G. (13 March 2015). "Trinity Guardrail System Passes Its Latest Crash Tests". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Kessler, Aaron M.; Ivory, Danielle (9 June 2015). "$663 Million in Penalties for Maker of Guardrail". New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  14. ^, Yahoo! Finance Review

External links[edit]