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St. Louis Car Company
Fate ceased operations
Founded April 1887 (1887-04)

William Lefmann, Peter Kling, Juilius Lefmann, Henry Schroeder, Daniel McAllister, Henry Maune,

Charles Ernst
Defunct 1973 (1973)
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Number of locations St. Louis, Missouri
Area served United States, Canada
Key people George J. Kobusch, Peter Kling, John H. Kobusch, Henry F. Vogel
Industry Manufacturer
Products Railroad passenger cars, locomotives, streetcars, and trolleybuses; automobiles
Parent General Steel Industries (1960–)
Subsidiaries St. Louis Aircraft Corporation

The St. Louis Car Company was a major United States manufacturer of railroad passenger cars, streetcars, trolleybuses and locomotives that existed from 1887–1973, based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


The St. Louis Car Company was formed in April 1887, to manufacture and sell streetcars and other kinds of rolling stock of street and steam railways. In succeeding years the company built automobiles, including the American Mors, the Skelton, and the Standard Six. The St. Louis Aircraft Corporation division of the company partnered with the Huttig Sash and Door company in 1917 to produce aircraft. During the two world wars, the company manufactured gliders, trainers, Alligators, flying boats, and dirigible gondolas. Among their most successful products were the Birney Safety Car and the PCC streetcar, a design that was very popular at the time.[1]

The firm went on to build some of the vehicles used in the transit systems of New York City and Chicago, as well as the FM OP800 railcars manufactured exclusively for the Southern Railway in 1939.

In 1960, St. Louis Car Company was acquired by General Steel Industries.[2] In 1964, St. Louis Car completed an order of 430 World's Fair picture-window cars (R36 WF) for the New York City Subway and was continuing work on 162 air-conditioned aluminum cars (PA1/PA2) for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to use on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson line to New Jersey.[3] Also in the mid-1960s, the company completed building the passenger capsules, designed by Planet Corporation, to ferry visitors to the top of the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.[4]

St. Louis Car continued business until 1968 and finally ceased operations by 1973.[5] The final St. Louis Car products were R44 subway cars for the New York City Subway and Staten Island Rapid Transit, and the USDOT State of the Art Car rapid transit demonstrator set whose design was based on the R44.


A St. Louis Car-built trolley bus in Chicago, in 1968

  • San Diego Class 1 Streetcars (1910-1912)
  • PCC streetcars (1930s-1950s)
  • Peter Witt streetcars
  • Trolley buses
  • Interurban cars
  • Gas-electric railcars
  • CRT/CTA 5003-5004 PCC elevated-subway cars (1947) - retired 1985
  • CTA 6001-6720 PCC elevated-subway cars (1950-59) - retired 1992
  • CTA 1-50 PCC elevated-subway cars (1959-60) - retired 1999
  • Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad Electroliner (1941)
  • State of the Art Car heavy rail transit demonstrator set for US DOT (1974) - now at Seashore Trolley Museum
  • Metra Illinois Central Electric District Highliner electric MU cars (1971-72)
  • NJ Transit (NJ DOT/Penn Central) Arrow I electric MU cars (1968-69)
  • New York Central ACMU 4500 series (1950-51)
  • NYCT R8A (1939)
  • NYCT R17 (1954-55)
  • NYCT R21 (1956-57)
  • NYCT R22 (1957-58)
  • NYCT R27 (1960-61)
  • NYCT R29 (1962)
  • NYCT R30 (1961-62)
  • NYCT R33 (1962-63)
  • NYCT R33 WF (1963)
  • NYCT R36 (1963-64)
  • NYCT R36 WF (1963-64)
  • NYCT R38 (1966-67)
  • NYCT R40 (1968-69)
  • NYCT R40M (1969)
  • NYCT R42 (1969-70)
  • NYCT R44 (1972-73)
  • Hudson & Manhattan Railroad/PATH "K-car"/MP51 (1958)
  • PATH PA1 (1965)
  • PATH PA2 (1967)
  • Seaboard Air Line 2027-2028 Railcars (1936)
  • SEPTA Silverliner III (PRR MP85) cars (1967)
  • Southern Railway FM OP800 Railcars (1939)
  • Victorian Railways Petrol Electric railmotor (1928)

See also

  • Brownell Car Company
  • Canada Car and Foundry
  • Ottawa Car Company
  • New York City Subway rolling stock
  • F-Market & Wharves Streetcar Line
  • John I. Beggs
  • List of rolling stock manufacturers


  1. Andrew D. Young and Eugene Provenzo, The History of the St. Louis Car Company (Howell North Books 1978)
  2. Flagg, James S. (1962). Our 150 Years, 1812 - 1962: In Commemoration of the Madison County Sesquicentennial. Edwardsville, Illinois: East 10 Publishing Company, Inc, 53. 
  3. "Transportation: Back on the Rails", Time Magazine (August 28, 1964). 
  4. Moore, Bob (1994). Urban Innovation and Practical Partnerships: An Administrative History of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 1980-1991. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service. ISBN none found. Retrieved on April 4, 2011. 
  5. Young and Provenzo, 267.

External links

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