Railway Car Builders of North America

An ever-growing list of all independent builders.

Company Plant Location Date Successor, Comments or Cross-reference
Racine Wagon-Carriage Co. Racine, WI c1900-1907  
Rahm, Philip
Philip Rahm)
Richmond, VA 1849/52-?? Begun as Eagle Foundry, specializing in saw mills and plantation machinery. Advertised to build locomotives, but no record exists. Unknown whether it built any cars.
Railroad Equipment Co. New Jersey c1890-1895+ Questionable whether it built cars or merely owned and leased them.
Railway Auto Car Co. New York, NY c1904-c1911 American Agents for the Ganz Company of Budapest, Hungary, builders of steam-driven self-propelled passenger cars. Built no cars themselves.
Railway Locomotor Co. Chicago, IL 1929-1931  
Railway Motor Car Corp. Philadelphia, PA c1905-1920  
Railway Service Corp.   1981  
Railway Steel & Supply Co.
Railway & Steel Supply Co
Seattle, WA c1901-1905 To Seattle Car Manufacturing Company
Railway Storage Battery Car Co. West Orange, NJ
Had offices in NYC ca. 1930
1912-1930s From Federal Storage Battery Car Company.
Listed under "Car Builders" in White-Orr's 1930 Classified Business Directory NYC section.
Railwest Mfg. Squamish, BC ????-1975 Manufacturing arm of British Columbia Rail.
Raleigh Iron Works   1906  
Ralston Steel Car Co.
[This is an off-site link.]
Columbus, OH 1905-1953 Chicago attorney Joseph S. Ralston bought the patents for “a stock car with drop doors adaptable for grain, coal, or cattle,” and had Pullman build a few. He bought an old factory, and produced both his own type car and others more conventional. (White/Freightcar-399; Lucas/Cars-106/07; RAG1913/02/14)
Ralston & Henry Philadelphia, PA c1909  
Ramapo Iron Works   1903-1913  
Randall, I.H.
(I.H. Randall)
Boston, MA c1890s  
Ranlett (Ranlet Car?) Manufacturing Co. Laconia, NH 1844-1879/1881 To Laconia Car Company
Rathbun & Co.
The Rathbun Co.
Deseronto, ON 1890-1912  
Reany, Son & Archibald Chester, PA 1865 Boiler making firm built two locomotives for B&O; probably no cars.
Reeder, Charles, & Son
Charles Reeder & Son)
Baltimore, MD 1820(1834)-(1834)?? Pioneer manufacturers of marine engines built one locomotive for B&O that exploded. Second was refused delivery. No cars.
Regis Car Works Dayton, OH c. 1910 If you have any information on this firm, please contact us.
Reynolds Aluminum   1966  
Rhode Island Locomotove Works Providence, RI b1860(1866)-1902 Burnside Rifle Co. of Bristol moved to Providence 1860. When armament business fell off after Civil War, began building locomotives.
Plant sold to American Locomotive Company 1902 after producing 5,995 locomotives; probably no cars.
Rhodes, Curry & Co., Ltd. Amherst, NS 1893-1909
From Harris Car Company
To Canadian Car & Foundry
Rholfs & Schroder Seattle, WA c1880s-1890s  
Richmond Car Works Richmond, VA 1922-1931 Acquired by Standard Steel Car
Richmond Locomotive & Machine Works Richmond, VA 1887-1927 Locomotive builder; no cars.
Acquired 1901 by American Locomotive Company.
Corp. dissolved 1927.
(See Railroad History No. 130, Spring 1974.)
Richmond Tank Car & Mfg. Co. Houston, TX 1948-1964+  
Richmond Tank Car Co. Sheldon (Houston), TX 1962-1983 To Gulf Railcar Industries
Risdon Iron Works San Francisco, CA b1882-1911 Produced only industrial locomotives; no cars.
Taken over 1911 by shipbuilder Union Iron Works.
Rix & Firth San Francisco, CA 1879(1886)- Edward A. Rix and J.K. Firth were partners in building mining machinery DBA Phoenix Iron Works. Began locomotive building 1886. Rix left 1890 to build his own compressed-air mine locomotives.
Roanoke Machine Works Roanoke, VA 1881-1884
Attempt by the Virginia Company, a subsidiary of the N&W RR, to create a semi-commercial shop to build locos for parent N&W and for independent lines. Only freight cars went to independent lines. All locos went to N&W.
Roanoke Machine Works is listed under “Car Builders” in 1877 edition, Poor’s Directory of Railway Officials.
Robbins & Lawrence Windsor, VT c1848-1856  
Roberts Car & Wheel Co.   c1904 Known to have built hand cars and push cars for railway maintenance.
Robinson & Moan Waterloo, IA c1885-1889 To Northern Car Company
Robinson-Moan Car Co. Minneapolis, MN c1892  
Robinson Radial Truck Co. Portland, ME b1890-1896+ Unknown whether they built any cars, or only radial trucks for streetcars. William Robinson held a raft of patents, most having something to do with "radial" trucks of one kind or another.
Robinson, Russell & Co. Detroit, MI 1854-1868 Merged into Detroit Car & Manufacturing Company
Rochester Car Co. Rochester, NY c1891  
Rockwell Machine & Car Co. Wilkes-Barre, PA c1890  
Rodger Ballast Car Co. Chicago, IL 1901-1929 Dealer for Hart Convertible Cars.
Cars built by Wells & French, AC&F.
Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor Paterson, NJ 1832(1837/1840)-1856 Thomas Rogers [sometimes spelled ‘Rodgers’] was senior partner in a firm that made cotton textile looms and machinery. After dismantling an English locomotive, he manufactured his 1st in 1837 [1835 {393}]. He later employed locomotive master-builders such as Cooke and Swinburne. Produced ten 4-wheeled freight cars for Erie Railroad 1840 and possibly four passenger cars.
After Rogers' death the firm was reorganized as Rogers Locomotive & Machine Company
Rogers Locomotive Works Paterson, NJ 1893-(1913)1915 From Rogers Locomotive & Machine Company
Peaked 1902. Acquired by American Locomotive Company ca. 1904. ALCO found plant obsolete, with insufficient rail connections, so cut production to light contractor and export locomotives, steam shovels and rotary snowplows ["cars" by our definition].
(See L.R. Trumbull, A History of Industrial Paterson, 1882; and Rogers Locomotive Catalog, 1876, New Jersey Historical Society, 1983.)
Rogers Locomotive & Machine Co. Paterson, NJ 1856-1893 From Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor
Jacob S. Rogers became majority owner of his father's locomotive business; resigned as President 1893.
Produced its 4,200th locomotive in 1890, ranking 2nd in total production. Unknown whether it ever produced any cars.
Reorganized 1893 as Rogers Locomotive Works
(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. 222.)
Rome/New York Locomotive Works Rome, NY 1882-1891 Locomotive Builder
Rushmore Co., The
(The Rushmore Co.)
Boston, MA ca. 1920/22 Acquired control of designs for steam-driven self-propelled passenger cars developed by Francis Stanley of “Stanley Steamer” automobile fame; marketed cars under trade name of “Unit Car.” Sold cars to B&M, CN and Uruguayan Govt.
Russell, J.W.
(J.W. Russell)
  1903 Cars built by AC&F.
Russell & Co. Massillon and Canton, OH c1854-c1880  
Russell Car & Snow Plow Co.
Russell Car & Foundry Co.
Russell Snow Plow Co.
Ridgeway, PA
Had offices in NYC ca. 1930
b1918-1956+ Listed under "Car Builders" in White-Orr's 1930 Classified Business Directory NYC section.
Russell Wheel & Foundry Co. Detroit, MI 1876-1916 Works est. 1876, incorp. 1883. Reportedly built logging, lumber and mill-yard cars before 1890. Was "associated" with the Michigan-Peninsular merger of 1892, and thus the AC&F merger of 1899.
After 1899, cars built by AC&F(?)
Rutland Car Co. Rutland, VT   Organized by men associated with the Burlington & Rutland, the Rutland & Washington, and other railroads serving the southwest corner of Vermont. Envisioned as a fast freight line. Unknown how successful it was. Charter provided for car building, but doubtful it ever did build cars.
Ryan Car Co. Hegewisch (Chicago), IL 1906-1956+ In early years, at least, was primarily a rebuilder.
Company Plant Location Date Successor, Comments or Cross-reference

21 April 2007

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