American Car and Foundry Company

While whiling away a dreary afternoon at the local library, I chanced upon a trove of information regarding the now-defunct American Car and Foundry Company’s manufacturing operations in Huntington, West Virginia.

While whiling away a dreary afternoon at the local library, I chanced upon a trove of information regarding the now-defunct American Car and Foundry Company’s manufacturing operations in Huntington, West Virginia. The plant’s origins can be traced back to November 1, 1872, when it was chartered under the name Ensign Manufacturing Company, making it nearly as venerable as the city itself.

The sprawling facility encompassed a division that produced railway freight cars, mine cars, forgings, and pressings. It also housed a railway car wheel foundry with an impressive annual capacity of 60,000 car wheels and a grey iron foundry that churned out prodigious quantities of mine car wheels and grey iron castings.

During the crucible of World War II, ACF played a vital role in furnishing equipment to allied forces across the globe, including North Africa, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Australia, and the British Isles. The company constructed 5,000 specially designed cars for the armed forces, in addition to manufacturing doors, ramps for LSTs, and myriad other miscellaneous items crucial to the war effort. In the span between the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender, ACF built an astonishing 12,609 freight cars and 16,000 mine cars and delivered an incredible 367,463 tons of railroad and mine car wheels.

In 1962, ACF ushered in a revolutionary new design at its Huntington plant, swiftly becoming an industry standard. The Center-Flow covered hopper car facilitated the transport of large volumes of lightweight, high-bulk commodities such as plastic pellets. By 1992, ACF had constructed over 100,000 of these innovative cars, reaching a staggering peak production rate of 28 daily units. However, by 2001, the demand for Center-Flow cars had waned, leading to worker furloughs. The few remaining employees were tasked with manufacturing wheel pairs for tank cars produced at ACF’s Pennsylvania plant, but even this work had ceased by 2010.

Today, the once-mighty ACF plant finds itself at a crossroads. A proposed $250 million redevelopment plan envisions a baseball stadium, hotel, conference center, and commercial development adjoining Marshall University. Only time will tell if this ambitious project can breathe new life into the hallowed grounds where American manufacturing prowess once reigned supreme.


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Used to work as a Security Guard there. It was full of history. Even had a “Pusher” train engine..Lots of time walking thru the night. One thing that should never be forgotten were a bunch of workers got killed there when the car walls stacked like dominoes fell on them. There used to be a lighted plaque on the wall. Heard a good “ghost story”. A man was working on one side of the cars and struck up a conversation with another worker on the other side of the cars. Talk for a good long time. The one worker wanted to see face to face who he was talking to and went out of the building and over to the other side of the train. There was NOBODY working there. Take it or leave it…!

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.

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!

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.

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

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

Mercer Pension Helpline
Attention: Pension Dept.
411 East Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1300
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4417

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/

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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