FreightCar America Inc , maker of coal-carrying railcars, said on Sunday that its Chief Executive Officer Christian Ragot has left by mutual consent, and is being replaced by a former FreightCar executive.

Edward Whalen, who joined FreightCar America as one of a group of investors who acquired its predecessor company in 1991, has been appointed CEO.

Whalen most recently served as FreightCar America's senior vice president of marketing and sales, from December 2004 to September 2008, at which point he retired, FreightCar said.

Ragot could not be reached immediately for comment.

Last month, the company posted lower quarterly results, missing market estimates due to continued weakness in the railcar market, and said it received no new orders during the period.

The company specializes in making coal-carrying railcars serving customers such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe , GE Rail Services and Union Pacific .

Whalen said in a statement that his top priority was optimize the company's performance in 2010, with a continued view to preserving our strong balance sheet.

Christian Ragot, who had served as president and CEO since April 2007, left by mutual consent, FreightCar said.

The company said that Ragot, who has served as president and CEO since April 2007, played an instrumental role in controlling the company's costs during a difficult time in the railcar industry.

(Editing by Carol Bishopric)