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American Car and Foundry

American Car and Foundry (often abbreviated as ACF) is a manufacturer of railroad rolling stock. One of its subsidiaries was once (1925–54) a manufacturer of motor coaches and trolley coaches under the brand names of (first) ACF and (later) ACF-Brill. Today ACF is known as ACF Industries LLC and is based in St. Charles, Missouri.[1] It is owned by investor Carl Icahn.


American Car and Foundry was formed and incorporated in New Jersey in 1899 as the result of the merger of 13 smaller railroad car manufacturers. The company was made up of:

Company Founded Location
Buffalo Car Manufacturing Company 1872 Buffalo, New York
Ensign Manufacturing Company[2] 1872 Huntington, West Virginia
Jackson and Woodin Manufacturing Company 1861 Berwick, Pennsylvania
Michigan-Peninsular Car Company 1892 Detroit, Michigan
Minerva Car Works 1882 Minerva, Ohio
Missouri Car and Foundry Company 1865 St. Louis, Missouri
Murray, Dougal and Company 1864 Milton, Pennsylvania
Niagara Car Wheel Company Buffalo, New York
Ohio Falls Car Manufacturing Company 1876 Jeffersonville, Indiana
St. Charles Car Company 1873 St. Charles, Missouri
Terre Haute Car and Manufacturing Company Terre Haute, Indiana
Union Car Company Depew, New York
Wells and French Company 1869 Chicago, Illinois

Later in 1899, ACF acquired Bloomsburg Car Manufacturing Company (of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania). Two years later, ACF acquired Jackson and Sharp Company (founded 1863 in Wilmington, Delaware), and the Common Sense Bolster Company (of Chicago, Illinois). The unified company made a great investment in the former Jackson & Woodin plant in Pennsylvania, spending about $3 million. It was at this plant that ACF built the first all-steel passenger car in the world in 1904. The car was built for the Interborough Rapid Transit system of New York City, the first of 300 such cars ordered by the railroad.

1904 and 1905 saw ACF build several motor cars and trailers for the London Underground.[3] In these two years, ACF also acquired Southern Car and Foundry (founded 1899 in Memphis, Tennessee), Indianapolis Car and Foundry and Indianapolis Car Company.

ACF produced artillery gun mounts and ammunition, submarine chasers and other boats, railway cars and other equipment during World War I to support the Allies.[3] ACF ranked 36th among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts.[4]


  • 1899: American Car & Foundry is formed from the merger of 13 smaller companies.
  • 1899: ACF acquires Bloomsburg Car Manufacturing Company
  • 1901: ACF acquires Jackson and Sharp Company and Common Sense Bolster Company
  • 1904: ACF builds the first all-steel passenger car in the world for the Interborough Rapid Transit
  • 1904: ACF acquires Southern Car and Foundry
  • 1905: ACF acquires Indianapolis Car and Foundry and Indianapolis Car Company
  • 1922: ACF diversifies into the automotive industry with the acquisition of Carter Carburetor Corporation[3]
  • March 31, 1924: ACF acquires Pacific Car and Foundry
  • 1925: ACF acquires Fageol Motors Company of Ohio and Hall-Scott Motor Car Company[3]
  • 1926: ACF acquires J. G. Brill Company[3]
  • 1927: ACF acquires Shippers Car Line[3]
  • 1935: ACF builds lightweight Rebel streamline trains for the Gulf, Mobile and Northern Railroad
  • 1939: ACF's Berwick plant switches to construction of military tanks.
  • August 2, 1941: ACF's 1,000th military tank is completed for the United States military effort of World War II
  • 1954: The company officially changes its name to ACF Industries, Inc.[3]
  • 1960: ACF completes the last passenger car that it is to build (New York City Transit R28[5] IRT car).
  • 1977: Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) came up with the idea of the first double-stack intermodal car in 1977.[6] SP then designed the first car with ACF Industries that same year.[7][8]
  • 1984: ACF is purchased by Carl Icahn
  • 1997: ACF reaches leasing agreement with GE Capital Railcar for 35000 of its 46000 railcars, mostly on 16 year leases with optional purchase agreements.[9]
  • 2003: ACF Industries LLC became a successor to ACF Industries, Incorporated on May 1, 2003.[3]


Historically, ACF built passenger and freight cars and covered hopper cars for hauling items like corn or other grains. . One of the largest customers was Union Pacific, whose armour-yellow carbon steel lightweight passenger rolling stock was mostly built by ACF. The famous dome-observation car, Native Son, was an ACF product. Today, the American passenger car market is erratic in production, and is mostly handled by specialty manufacturers. Competitors Budd, Pullman-Standard, and St. Louis Car have all either exited the market or gone out of business.

The manufacturing facility located in

See also


External links

  • ACF Industries - Official site
  • ACF Industries Archival Collection - University of Missouri
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