Railway Car Builders of North America

An ever-growing list of all independent builders.


Company Plant Location Date Successor, Comments or Cross-reference
Danforth Locomotive & Machine Works Paterson, NJ 1865-1883 From Danforth, Cooke & Company
Locomotive builder; built no cars.
To Cooke Locomotive & Machine Company
(See J. Leander Bishop, A History of American Manufacturers From 1608 to 1860 (Philadelphia, PA: Edward Young, 1868; Reprint, New York, NY: Augustus M. Kelley, 1966), v. 3, p. 225.)
Danforth, Cooke & Co. Paterson, NJ 1853-1865 From John Clark
Locomotive builder; built no cars.
To Danforth Locomotive & Machine Works
Danville Car Co. Danville, IL 1900-1913 Acquired by J.G. Brill Company 1908 but continued under Danville name.
Darby Corp. Kansas City, KS 1946/1965-1978/1978+ Apparently specialized in tank cars
Dauphin Car Works Dauphin, PA 1880s Dauphin Car Works is listed under “Car Builders” in 1877 edition, Poor’s Directory of Railway Officials.
Davenport & Bridges [Car Co.?] Cambridgeport, MA 1837-1850/52 From Kimball & Davenport
New partnership established 1837 by Charles Davenport and Albert Bridges. Built both freight and passenger cars. Was operating a "huge" car plant at Cambridgeport when partners decided to build locomotives and established Davenport, Bridges & Kirk in 1849.
Davenport & Bridges partnership dissolved May 1850.
To Charles Davenport & Company
Davenport & Kimball     Transposition of Kimball & Davenport.”
Davenport Besler Corp. Davenport, IA c1950-1955 From Davenport Locomotive Works
Built light industrial locomotives; no cars.
Acquired assets of H.K. Porter 1950.
Assets sold 1955 to Canadian Locomotive Company.
Davenport, Bridges & Co. Fitchburg, MA 1848-1850s  
Davenport, Bridges & Kirk Cambridgeport (Cambridge), MA 1849-1852 Locomotive builder related to and located adjacent to Davenport & Bridges [Car Co.?]; Built 6 locomotives at most during first 18 months or so. No cars. Began selling off machinery thereafter.
Davenport, Russel & Co. Massilon, OH 1850s  
Davenport, Charles, & Co.
(Charles Davenport & Co.)
Cambridgeport (Cambridge), MA c1850/52-1855/56 From Davenport & Bridges
Business liquidated when Charles Davenport retired.
Davenport Locomotive Works Davenport, IA 1901-c1930 Successor to W.W. Whitehead & Co., builder of stationary engines and boilers; built mainly industrial type locomotives, most likely no cars.
Began building gasoline locos 1924, diesel 1927.
Incorporated ca. 1930 as Davenport Loco
motive & Mfg. Corp.
Davenport Locomotive & Mfg. Corp. Davenport, IA c1930-c1950 From Davenport Locomotive Company
Continued building light industrial locomotives.
To Davenport Besler Corp.
Davie Shipbuilding   1962-1979  
Davis, Phineas
Phineas Davis)
York, PA 1831-1833? Built two or three locomotives for the B&O, including the Arabian and the Mercury; no cars.
Davis, D.P.
(D.P. Davis)
New York, NY 1869-70 Advertised in Poor's Manual 1869-1870 to build light locomotives. Otherwise unknown
Dawson & Baily Connelsville, PA 1875-1882 Locomotive builder; no cars
Dawson Mfg. Co. Dawson, GA c1870-c1880  
Dayton Car Works     Barney & Smith
Dean Packard & Mills Springfield, MA c1840-c1854
Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. Railroad Carbondale, PA 1827-1898 Constructed almost 100 coaches and more than 5,000 wooden coal cars for use on its gravity railroad running from the coal fields at Carbondale 16 miles to Honesdale. Some examples of the coachwork will be found at http://www.thomasgibson.com/gravity .
Delaware Car Works     Jackson & Sharp Company.
Denmead, A. & W., & Co.
(A. & W. Denmead & Co.)
Baltimore, MD 1850-1859 Besides cars and bridges, produced about 30 locos 1851-1859.
Denmead, A. & W., & Son
(A. & W. Denmead & Son)
Baltimore, MD 1851-1859  
Denmead, A. & W., & Son(s)
(A. & W. Denmead & Son(s))
Baltimore, MD 1840-1850 Began as foundry operated by Adam Denmead. Grew and added partners, including Wm. Denmead. Besides cars and bridges, produced about 30 locos 1851-1859. To A. & W. Denmead & Co.
Dennis, Wood & Russell Auburn, NY b1840(1840)-?? Locomotive builder; no cars
(See R&LHS Bulletin 123, Oct 1970)
Denver Tramway Co. Denver, CO    
Depere Car Works Milwaukee, WI 1870s  
Despatch Shops, Inc. East Rochester, NY 1939-1968  
Detroit Car & Manufacturing Co. Detroit, MI 1868-1871 From Robinson, Russell & Company.
Acquired by Pullmans Palace Car Company.
Detroit Car Co. Adrian/Detroit, MI b1857-1879+  
Detroit Car Works     Detroit Car Company
Detroit Locomotive Works Detroit, MI 1841(1854)-(1857/58)1880+ Built about 40 locomotives 1854-1857/58; no cars.
Foundry est. DeGraff & Townsend. S.N. Kendrick became partner. C.H. Buel took over early 1860s.
Not related to Oliver M. Hyde's 1853 machine shop and loco building attempts of same name.
Detroit Wheel & Foundry Detroit, MI 1902  
Dewey Brothers Goldsboro, NC 1884(1898)-late 1920s Manufactured and repaired sawmills and other machinery. Produced logging locomotives; no cars.
(See R&LHS Bulletin 112, April 1965.)
Dickey, Neill & Co. Toronto, ON 1858/1870-1876 Operated the Soho Foundry.
Dickson Mfg. Co. Scranton, PA 1856(1864)-1909 Began locomotive production 1862. Car plant opened ca. 1864. Unknown when it ceased production, but general machinery business sold off 1901.
Differential Car Co. Findlay, OH 1952-1966 From Differential Steel Car Company.
To Trinity Industries, Inc.
Difco     Tradename of Differential Steel Car Company.
Differential Steel Car Co. Findlay, OH 1915-1952 Built railway maintenance equipment, including the “Difco” air-operated side-dump car.
To Differential Car Company.
Dod, Ezra K.
Ezra K. Dod)
New York, NY 1833/34 Built for locomotives for Camden & Amboy; no cars.
Dominion Car & Foundry Company, Ltd. Montreal, QC 1907-1909 To Canadian Car & Foundry.
Dominion Dump   1906 Dominion Car & Foundry?
Dominion Foundries & Steel, Ltd. Montreal, QC 1912-1960+  
Dominion Steel   1946-1962  
Dominion Steel & Coal Co. Ville, QC 1928-1958 Acquired by Hawker Siddeley Canada, Ltd.
Dominion Steel Car Co.   1906 Dominion Car & Foundry?
Dorner Railway Equipment Co. Chicago, IL c. 1911 Advertised electrical trolley cars they had rebuilt.
Dotterer, Davis H.
Davis H. Dotterer)
Reading, PA 1835(1839)-1842 Built about 10 locomotives for Reading and other local lines; no cars as far as is known.
Douglas, Smith & Co. Zanesville, OH c1852-c1854 D/B/A Muskingum Works
Drake Railway Automotrice Co. Chicago, IL 1912-mid 1920s  
Dunham, Henry R.
Henry R. Dunham)
New York, NY 1834(1836)-(1838)c1858 Built marine engines; entered loco building ca. 1836; quit 1838 but continued to build machinery 20 years or more. Built no cars.
Dunkirk Iron Works
Dunkirk Engineering Co.
Dunkirk, NY 1865-1884/85;
Early produced small geared industrial locomotives. Failed ca. 1884. Bought 1888 by Edward Nichols, Pres. Brooks Loco. Works and associates. Began 1890 producing locos designed by George D. Gilbert of Climax Loco Co. Built no cars.
Duplex Car Co. NYC/Boston c1896-ca. 1902 US Pat. 655,566.
Apparently subcontracted car building to others, including Jackson & Sharp, Brill, Cochran.
Dure Car Manufacturing Co. Wilmington, DE 1880s-1886 From Bowers, Dure & Company.
Acquired by Pullmans Palace Car Company.
Dure & Co. Wilmington, DE 1887 Dure & Co. is listed under “Car Builders” in 1877 edition, Poor’s Directory of Railway Officials.
Company Plant Location Date Successor, Comments or Cross-reference

20 April 2006

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