History of Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc.
Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc. was originally organized in 1855 as the American Signal Company. The product line was primarily devoted to the areas of signals and communications for the railroads. In 1889, it successfully developed and marketed the first automatic highway crossing bell warning device. This device was activated by the locomotive passing over, and closing a relay, which in turn activated the bell mechanism.
In 1895 the Company name was changed to the Railroad Supply Company. Early in 1903, this company purchased the Chicago Railroad Signal and Supply Company. In 1910 the Railroad Supply Company purchased the L.S. Brach Manufacturing Company, which was designing a "wave light" device intended to visually simulate a railroad watchman waving a red lantern at a crossing. This device was successfully installed in 1912. In 1912, the Railroad Supply Company also purchased the Bryant Zinc Company, which was developing a so-called "Autowag" or "Wig-Wag" warning signal. This device was installed in 1914. Modernized adaptations of that unit are still in use today. In 1932, the Company changed it's name to the Western Railroad Supply Company. On June 26 1936, the Company installed the first "Model 10" Automatic Grade Crossing Warning Barrier device.
In 1953, the Company, then a major supplier of railroad signal and warning devices, was purchased by J. Patrick Lannon and the Company became a Division of Western Industries, Inc. The Company was again purchased in 1968, this time by the Federal Signal Corporation, which specialized in all types of signal equipment. In 1970, Federal Signal Corporation purchased the Hayes Track Appliance Co. of Richmond, Indiana. A family owned Company which specialized in manufacturing and selling maintenance of way products including derails, bumping posts,wheel stops, and related accessory items. The two companies combined into one division known as the Western-Cullen Division of the Federal Signal Corporation.
These operations were purchased in 1977 by a group of investors from Indiana and Rhode Island. The two companies together became Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc. The Company has been privately owned and operated since 1977, and was acquired by Managers in 1990.
Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc. manufactures and markets two lines of products: (1) Signal (electrical grade crossing warning equipment) and (2) Maintenance of Way (track hardware and safety accessories). Both lines of products are used by railroads and industry to improve safety conditions on or in the vicinity of railroads and railroad tracks. Electrical warning equipment is used principally at railroad crossings. Track hardware is used to maintain the railroad track. Safety accessories are affixed to the track to stop or derail railroad cars. Western-Cullen-Hayes has been serving these markets for over 100 years and has the leading market share in our market niches.
The electrical warning equipment line consists of, flashing light crossing signals, automatic crossing gates, bells, electric switch lamps and electric derail operator.
Western-Cullen-Hayes manufactures Maintenance of Way track hardware and accessory products including: switch point guards, gauge rods, jacks,drills, rail benders, rail tongs, and track liners, among others. Safety accessories produced are bumping posts, derails, wheel crowders and wheel stops.
Western-Cullen-Hayes owns two manufacturing facilities. Each facility produces one of the two product lines. The Company's headquarters facility located at 2700 West 36th Place Chicago, Illinois houses the corporate offices and the manufacturing operations for the electrical warning equipment line. The track hardware and safety accessory line is manufactured at the plant located at 120 North 3rd Street,Richmond, Indiana.