FreightCar America Inc. has tabbed Christian Ragot as its next president and chief executive officer effective April 30.

Ragot, 48, will join the company this month as chief operating officer and will also assume a seat on the company’s board. He will replace John Carroll, who has been the company’s president and CEO for over seven years.

Ragot joins FreightCar from Terex Corp. He has been there for seven years in a number of executive leadership positions. His last position was president of Terex Utilities and Roadbuilding.

“We are extremely pleased that Chris Ragot has accepted. The board conducted an extensive search for candidates and Chris was our top choice,” Camillo M. Santomero III, chairman of the board of FreightCar, said in a statement.

“He has considerable experience that will serve him well as president and CEO, including experience in heavy industries, in driving strategic and profitable growth, and in providing visionary leadership.”

FreightCar has facilities in Franklin Borough and on John Street in downtown Johnstown. The company employs about 550 people locally, including about 450 unionized employees at its Franklin manufacturing plant.

Carroll would like to resolve outstanding contract issues with the United Steelworkers’ Franklin Local 2635 before his successor takes over.

The contract expires in May 2008.

FreightCar is seeking concessions of $15 per manhour in labor costs, the right to subcontract work and for workers to forfeit some paid downtime per eight-hour shift.

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