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 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. Although Trinity began fabricating railway tank car bodies as a subcontractor to Richmond Tank Car and Union Tank Car as early as 1966, in 1978 Trinity began producing complete tank and covered hopper rail cars in association with Quick Car of Fort Worth, Texas, which Trinity later absorbed.
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 & Wilcox plants in Elkhart, Indiana, and Koppel, Pennsylvania, and in 1983 it acquired Halter Marine. In 1984 Trinity absorbed Quick Car and acquired the railcar designs and production facilities of the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company, once the largest railcar manufacturer in North America. That same year Trinity also acquired the railcar designs of General American Transportation Corporation. In 1986 the rail car designs and production facilities of Greenville Steel Car Company were purchased, including the auto rack designs of Portec-Paragon. Also acquired in 1986 were the railcar designs of North American Car Corporation, and in 1987 Ortner Freight Car was acquired. These combined acquisitions made Trinity the largest rail car manufacturer in North America.
"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." In 1998 Trinity acquired the Differential Steel Car Company , which designed and built specialty rail cars. That same year Trinity also opened a rail car production plant in Monclova, Mexico.
In 2001 Trinity Industries acquired the designs and production facilities of Thrall Car Manufacturing Company, then North America's second largest producer of railroad freight cars.
Trinity consolidated its rail car building operations under the name Trinity Rail Group , and then shortened the name to TrinityRail.
The company completed the sale of its weld pipe fittings business.
The company sold its European Rail business to International Railway Systems S.A.
During the year ended December 31, 2006, it made two acquisitions in the Construction Products Group.
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.
The company’s Energy Equipment Group - Trinity Containers - was spun off forming Arcosa Inc. .
Mr. W. Relle Howard (VP & Chief Information Officer)
Ms. Sarah R. Teachout (Exec. VP, Chief Legal Officer & Assistant Sec.)
Ms. Leigh Anne Mann (VP of Investor Relations)
Mr. Steven L. McDowell (VP & Chief Accounting Officer)
Mr. R. Mark Cox (Exec. VP of Corp. Devel.)
Mr. Luis Augusto Pardo (Exec. VP of Mexico)
Mr. David C. DelVecchio (VP & Chief HR Officer)
Recognition and Awards
Mr. Eric R. Marchetto (Exec. VP & CFO)
Ms. E. Jean Savage (Pres, CEO & Director)
Mr. Kevin Poet (Exec. VP of Operations & Support Services)