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Models and Prototypes Blog - American Railcar Industries

American Car & Foundry and American Railcar Industries

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Lead by William Kenny Bixby, of Missouri Car & Foundry, the American Car & Foundry Company (AC&F, which was later shortened to ACF) was founded in 1899, with a capital investment of $60,000 and the merger of Murray, Dougal & Company's Milton Car Works (which was established in 1864 and had delivered one of the world's first tank cars, an Amos Densmore design that was comprised of a pair of wood stave barrels that were mounted on a flatcar) and twelve other railcar manufacturers.

Expanding into the automotive industry through its acquisition of St Louis based Carter Carburetor, ACF became further diversified through its purchases of Fageol Motors Co, the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company, and J. G. Brill Company.

Established as a tank car leasing company, Shippers Car Line was acquired by ACF in 1927.

During both World Wars, ACF manufactured a very diverse range of military products such as aircraft tail assemblies, ammunition, armor plating, artillery gun mounts, artillery shells, cloth shrinking machines and rollers, field kitchens, hospital cars. pack saddles, submarine chasers, tanks, and wooden tent pegs.

As the firm had become so diversified by 1954, the company name was changed to ACF Industries, Inc., which better reflected the corporation's varied interests.

The last passenger car to be produced by ACF was manufactured in 1959.

In 1985, ACF established Jackson Manufacturing, a fabrication, machining, and railcar parts supplier.

In order to produce hopper car outlets and components for the firm's pressure differential hopper cars, in 1988, ACF acquired an aluminum foundry called Corbitt Manufacturing.

A diversified steel casting foundry called Southwest Steel Casting, a manufacturer of construction, mining, and oil field products, who also supplied car body castings to ACF, was acquired by the latter firm in 1989.

American Railcar Industries, Inc. Logo

In 1994, through the acquisition of the railcar component manufacturing and maintenance units of ACF, American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI) was established.

Located in Paragould, Arkansas, in 1995, ARI opened its first major railcar assembly plant.

In Marmaduke, Arkansas, ARI opened a second, tank car assembly facility in 1999.

In order to increase its alternative sources for couplers, heavy castings, and yokes, ARI acquired a one-third stake in ACF's Ohio Castings.

In 2006, the year that ARI went public on NASDAQ, further expanding its railcar sub assembly and small components production capabilities, the corporation purchased Custom Steel Inc.

With a joint venture axle and manufacturing facility in Paragould, Arkansas, 2009 saw the launch of Axis, LLC.

Railcar leasing operations focused on hopper and tank cars were established by ARI in 2011.

Further expansion of its railcar service capabilities saw ARI open a new repair facility in Brookhaven, Mississippi, in 2014.

ITE Management acquired ARI from Icahn Enterprises in December 2018.

On July 28, 2019, it was announced that The Greenbrier Companies, an American railcar lessor and manufacturer based in Lake Oswego, Oregon had finalized its acquisition of the ARI manufacturing operations.

In a move that included updated branding, on July 21, 2020, ARI announced that it had changed its name to American Industrial Transport (AITX).

American Industrial Transport AITX Logo

Based in St. Charles Missouri and specializing in covered hoppers and tank cars, AITX is focused on railcar leasing, maintenance, and repair services.

View additional articles like this one in the Trains N Scale™ Models and Prototypes Blog.