Today, the company from Rheine on the river Ems focuses on the design, manufacture and supply of a broad range of high-tech products, viz. from rail vehicles to railway construction, railway depots and shunting technologies.
Diligent and analytic planning, high product quality and dedicated services constitute the groundwork for the successful business development at WINDHOFF Bahn- und Anlagentechnik GmbH. Customers enjoy first rate attention – from initial consulting to comprehensive services.
WINDHOFF provides optimised technical solutions for any given situation whether custom-tailored systems or off-the-shelf series products. We start at our ‘thinktank’ which is rightfully called the ‘breeding ground’ for the remarkable WINDHOFF performance. It is the origin for numerous unique problem solutions and highly efficient series products.
The following pages will give you an idea how our competence has been set in motion.
In 1889, the engineer Rudolf WINDHOFF founded the company as Rheiner Maschinenfabrik (machine factory Rheine).
The first customers were textile manufacturers in the region of Münster. Steam engines powered their spinning machines and weaving looms via complex transmissions, and in the early days, Rheiner Maschinenfabrik was mainly engaged with the design and manufacture of these transmissions. Soon, there was another major customer. The railways had a great demand for shunting winches, turntables, traversers, capstan winches, etc.
In 1901, Rheiner Maschinenfabrik employed a staff of more than 100 persons. In 1913, the companies Rheiner Maschinenfabrik and Motoren- und Fahrzeugfabrik Gebr. WINDHOFF (engine and vehicle factory Bros. WINDHOFF) were combined to Rheiner Maschinenfabrik WINDHOFF, a joint stock company.
War, inflation and political disorders left their marks on Rheiner Maschinenfabrik, but it could be managed to overcome the heavy economic losses caused by the crisis of 1932. Towards the end of WWII, the company’s premises were completely destroyed on October 5th, 1944 by a devastating bomb attack.
Reconstruction from the ruins called for great personal engagement by all, and following the monetary reform in 1948, the old production programme was picked up and slowly expanded. Large orders from the Federal German Railways were received for machinery and equipment for the reconstruction and maintenance of the rail net. The making radiators for the automotive industry was another source of income. In the eighties, equipment for waste water treatment was added to the programme.
Over the years, new fields of activities were added, and for optimum use of synergy effects, WINDHOFF acquired shares of suitable companies.
Today, the WINDHOFF Bahn- und Anlagentechnik GmbH focuses on the design, manufacture and supply of a broad range of high-tech products, viz. from rail vehicles to railway construction, railway depots and shunting technologies.