American Car and Foundry Company

American Car and Foundry Company, Huntington, West Virginia

While spending a rainy day at a library, I managed to find some information on the now closed American Car and Foundry Company manufacturing company in Huntington, West Virginia, that dated back to November 1, 1872 when it was issued a charter as the Ensign Manufacturing Company. It is nearly as old as the city itself!

While spending a rainy day at a library, I managed to find some information on the now closed American Car and Foundry Company manufacturing company in Huntington, West Virginia. The plant dates to November 1, 1872 when it was issued a charter as the Ensign Manufacturing Company. It is nearly as old as the city itself!

American Car and Foundry Company, Huntington, West Virginia

American Car and Foundry Company, Huntington, West Virginia

The plant consisted of a division for the manufacture of railway freight cars, mine cars and forgings and pressings, a railway car wheel foundry with an annual capacity of 60,000 car wheels, and a grey iron foundary in which mine car wheels are produced in huge quantities. As awell as grey iron castings.

During World War II, ACF furnished equipment to North Africa, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Australia and the British Isles. It constructed 5,000 cars of special design for the armed forces, and doors and ramps for LST and many other miscellaneous items. Between Pearl Harbor and V-J Day, it built atotal of 12,609 freight cars, 16,000 mine cars, and delivered 367,463/152 million lbs. of railroad and mine car wheels.

In 1962, ACF began building a new design at Huntington that quickly became standard in the rail industry. The Center-Flow covered hopper car allowed for the transport of large volumes of light weight, high bulk commodities, such as plastic pellets. By 1992, ACF had built more than 100,000 Center-Flow cars, building as many as 28 per day at peak production. But by 2001, the market for the Center-Flow cars had slowed and the workers were furloughed. The few that did remain manufactured wheel pairs for tank cars that were manufactured at ACF’s plant in Pennsylvania. But by 2010, that work had stopped, as well.

Today, the ACF plant could be redeveloped in a $250 million proposal that includes a baseball stadium, hotel, conference center, and commercial development adjoining Marshall University.

11 Comments

  1. I remember Chet Collins use to work there. I dated his daughter. I use to stand and watch the cars come out of the buildings.We have the same last name but no relation.

  2. Its a real shame that he city of Huntington and Marshall University are STILL trying to get their claws into this prime piece of real estate for another sporting venue. For a company thats closed down, Id like for someone to explain to me how my husband and many other men bring a paycheck home every week from this ‘closed down’ facility. Especially since they work all kinds of overtime because orders just KEEP rolling in! Marshall has ALWAYS wanted this land and this is a shameful ploy to get ACF to fold. Disgusting!

    1. The property is far too big for the amount of ‘workers’ it supposedly employs, like less than 30 if that many. Carl Icahn owns the property and is a prick because 90% of said property is unused and contaminates the land each year more and more. There is virtually ZERO benefit of the ACF being open still, any business and re-development project would bring 10 times more jobs than what that bucket of rusted bolts building is bringing now.

  3. I am trying to get information on my deceased husbands ( Gregory Allen Morrison) benefits. I need a phone number also. Thank you!

  4. Who do i need to get ahold of for someone trying to get the dead husband’s pension.need to turn paper work in to get it

  5. I am sorry too that things cycled down to the point of the plant closing.
    More manufacturing should happen. I hope it is occurring now.
    The USA has been the provider of some of the highest quality products manufactured in the world.
    I once worked for ACF Industries, Special Products Division and proudly represented Milton PA and this plant
    in Huntington West Virginia.

    Where are things now/

  6. I spent 15 years working here at acf in the Blacksmith Shop. My father retired from there. I wish i would've had the same opportunity. Such a shame that more was'nt done to keep this place alive. it was a good place to make a living and had such a rich history in the town. Huntington has lost so many good jobs and this was one of them.

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