In February of 1864 the Milton Car Works was formed in Milton, Pennsylvania by Murray, Dougal & Company.
A year later, the Milton Car Works began delivering some of the world’s first tank cars.
Designed by Amos Densmore, this unique conveyance consisted of two wood stave barrels mounted on a flat car.
The Densmore tank car ushered in a new era for the railroads and a new industry that 129 years later would
become American Railcar Industries, Inc.
Saint Charles in 1900
In 1899 with a capital of $60,000,000, the Milton Car Works and 12 other railcar builders lead by
William Keeny Bixby of Missouri Car and Foundry formed our predecessor company, the American Car and Foundry
Company (AC&F, later shortened to ACF). Thus began our history of progress, leadership and innovation in rail
car design and manufacturing. Among many of its proud achievements, ACF lays claim to building the first
all-steel passenger car for New York City's pioneer subway, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company followed by
the sale of more than 100 motor and trailer subway cars for London's famous Underground.
By 1906, ACF had steel shops at St. Louis, Missouri; Detroit, Michigan; Berwick, Pennsylvania; Huntington, West Virginia and
Madison, Illinois. In 1917, Shippers Car Line began operation as a tank car leasing company then acquired
by ACF in 1927.
ACF played an active role in both World Wars, producing for the Allies in WWI a diversity of products like
artillery gun mounts and ammunition, field kitchens, pack saddles, submarine chasers, cloth shrinking machines
and rollers, and even wooden tent pegs. During World War II, ACF built army tanks, aircraft tail assemblies,
artillery shells, armor plate, and hospital cars. Until the end of World War I, ACF's Wilmington plant
produced boats for the U.S Navy then switched production to luxury wooden yachts, many of which still exist.
In 1922, ACF expanded into the automotive industry when it acquired Carter Carburetor Corporation of
St. Louis. This began a long period of diversification and expansion into bus and street car manufacturing
highlighted by acquisitions of Fageol Motors Co, the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company and J. G. Brill Company.
By 1954, the corporation's interests had become so diversified that the name was changed to
ACF Industries, Inc. ACF produced its last passenger railcar in 1959.
American Railcar Industries, Inc. has its headquarters in Saint Charles, Missouri outside of Saint Louis
on the grounds of American Car and Foundry’s original manufacturing center circa 1899.
American Railcar Industries, Inc. was formed in 1994 from the acquisition of railcar component manufacturing
and railcar maintenance assets from ACF Industries. Today ARI, a publicly held corporation, is a fully
integrated supplier to the North American freight car market. ARI designs and manufactures new railcars,
railcar parts, operates a network of railcar repair centers. We supply rail fleet management and
Engineering services to shippers, equipment leasing companies and railroads. Our industrial products
group provides industry with a variety of services including steel and aluminum castings, heavy steel
fabrication, roll forming, production machining, specialty welding and forging.
Saint Charles, Present Time
American Railcar Industries, Inc. is a partner in two separate and distinct ventures;
Axis, LLC., and Ohio Castings Company, LLC.
For additional information follow the link,
Joint Ventures, found in the shaded box in the upper left of this page.