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.
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.
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 World War I 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.
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.
Jackson Manufacturing, a fabrication, machining, and railcar component supplier was established by ACF. Today, ARI Jackson’s focus is supplying quality OEM railcar parts for our railcars and customers.
Corbitt Manufacturing, an aluminum foundry was purchased by ACF to produce components for our pressure differential hopper cars and our hopper car outlets.
Southwest Steel Casting Company, a steel casting foundry in Longview, TX was acquired by ACF. As a diversified foundry, it supplied our car body castings as well as products to the mining, construction and oil field markets in which it still operates today.
American Railcar Industries, Inc. was formed from the acquisition of railcar component manufacturing and railcar maintenance assets from ACF Industries. At that time, the manufacturing base was focused on supplying parts and components to rail and non-rail related industries. The Kennett Manufacturing plant was also launched this year as a fabrication and welded railcar sub-assembly supplier. The railcar maintenance assets have been utilized by ARI as railcar services facilities.
ARI opened a freight car assembly factory in Paragould, AR being the first of two major railcar assembly plants in our manufacturing network.
ARI added a second assembly plant to produce tank cars in Marmaduke, AR. Both of our assembly facilities were custom designed to produce high quality railcars while also providing efficiency and flexibility in operations.
ARI acquired from ACF its one-third ownership interest in Ohio Castings to increase our supply alternatives for heavy castings, couplers, and yokes.
ARI became publicly traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol ARII and continued expansions at our Paragould & Marmaduke facilities.
We further expanded our railcar sub assembly and small components manufacturing capabilities through the acquisition of Custom Steel, Inc. Custom Steel operates a facility located adjacent to our facility in Kennett, MO that we have successfully added into our railcar sub assembly group. This facility produces value-added fabricated steel components that primarily support our railcar manufacturing operations.
To support demanding quality requirements as we continue to grow, ARI added two additional component supply operations: a wheel and axle assembly shop and tank head press.
Our joint venture axle and manufacturing facility, Axis, LLC began operations in Paragould, AR. Paint and lining railcar repair shop expansions were opened at our Sarnia & Longview locations.
ARI began railcar leasing operations primarily focusing on covered hopper cars and tank cars.
ARI further expanded our railcar repair capabilities with a new repair facility in Brookhaven, MS.
We are a prominent North American designer and manufacturer of hopper and tank railcars, which are currently the two largest markets within the railcar industry. We provide our railcar customers with integrated solutions through a comprehensive set of high quality products and related services offered by our three reportable segments: manufacturing, railcar leasing and railcar services. Manufacturing consists of railcar manufacturing and railcar and industrial component manufacturing. We use certain of these components in our own railcar manufacturing and/or sell certain of these products to third parties. Railcar leasing consists of railcars manufactured by us and leased to third parties under operating leases. Railcar services consist of railcar repair, engineering and field services, for our fleet, and for other railcar owners. Our business model combines manufacturing, railcar leasing and railcar services and is designed to support the industry with complete railcar solutions over the full life cycle of the railcar. We partner in two separate and distinct joint ventures: Axis, LLC and Ohio Casting Company, LLC