American Car and Foundry Company
American Car and Foundry (often abbreviated as ACF) is an American 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. 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 / 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 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. In those two years ACF also acquired Southern Car and Foundry (founded 1899 in Memphis, Tennessee), Indianapolis Car and Foundry and Indianapolis Car Company.
During World War I ACF produced artillery gun mounts and ammunition, submarine chasers and other boats, railway cars, and other equipment to support the Allies. ACF ranked 36th among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts.
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
March 31, 1924: ACF acquires Pacific Car and Foundry
1925: ACF acquires Fageol Motors Company of Ohio and Hall-Scott Motor Car Company
1926: ACF acquires J. G. Brill Company
1927: ACF acquires Shippers Car Line
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.
1954: ACF purchases Engineering and Research Corporation.
1954–1955: ACF delivers 35 "Astra Dome" dome cars to the Union Pacific Railroad
1960: ACF completes the last passenger car that it is to build (New York City Transit R28 IRT car).
1961: ACF closes Berwick plant.
1977: Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) came up with the idea of the first double-stack intermodal car in 1977. SP then designed the first car with ACF Industries that same year.
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.
2003: ACF Industries LLC became a successor to ACF Industries, Incorporated on May 1, 2003.
In the past ACF built passenger and freight cars, including covered hopper cars for hauling such cargo as corn and other grains. One of the largest customers was the Union Pacific Railroad, 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 US passenger-car market is erratic in production and is mostly handled by specialty manufacturers. Competitors Budd, Pullman-Standard, Rohr Industries, and the St. Louis Car Company have all either left the market or gone out of business.
The manufacturing facility in Milton, Pennsylvania, is serviced by the Norfolk Southern Railway and is capable of manufacturing railcars and all related railcar components. The plant is capable of producing pressure vessels in sizes 18,000–61,000 gwc, including propane tanks, compressed gas storage, LPG storage, and all related components, including heads. The plant, covering 48 acres, provides 500,000 square feet of covered work area and seven miles of storage tracks. The Huntington, West Virginia, production site was closed in late 2009.
An ACF Slideshow.
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Postcard depiction of the American Car & Foundry plant, Milton, Pennsylvania, ca. 1909.
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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