The History of Stainless Steel Trains

Posted on August 20, 2012 by Reda Abouleish

stainless-steel-trains-history-benefitsIn the 1930s, the Depression hit affecting many booming businesses including the automobile business.  The E.G. Budd Company was not immune to this negative downfall.  The company saw a serious decline to its car business; thus, they were left with no choice.  They had to start letting go of many of its employees.  A 10,000 people run factory had to be shut down.  This became a problem for Edward Budd himself.  It was rumored that he was quite disturbed by this tragic outcome.  He didn’t want this to occur so he kept thinking about a new endeavor to reclaim the profits and jobs lost from his automobile business.

At this time in history, Budd also learned about stainless steel.  The dome of the Chrysler Building just finished and he was in awe of the shiny material.  He was mesmerized by the beauty, durability and non-corrosion traits of it so he thought he could do something with it.  He was originally thinking about creating products for the airplane industry but the company’s workings with this steel led to his contribution to the history of stainless steel trains.

The Michelin Company knew that Budd was manufacturing with this steel and asked his company to produce a lightweight rail car that would run on Michelin’s tires.  It would offer the railroad business a safe, quiet, fast ride on the track while increasing profits for all parties involved.  As a result, in 1932 a lightweight, stainless steel rail car named Lafayette was designed, built and sent to France.  It was able to hold 32 passengers.  This was the spark of many projects to come including a series of orders for the Reading Company, the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Texas-Pacific Railroad.

To find out more about the history and modern uses of stainless steel and nickel alloys, call National Specialty Alloys today



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