About American Railcar Industries, Inc.

Our History

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.

1900 St. Charles 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.

Our Future

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.

Present St. Charles 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.