Anderson Steel Flange Railroad Equipment company was founded as Anderson Ice and Coal Company in 1934 by George W. Anderson, the son of a southeastern Iowa coal mine operator. After a mine cave-in, young George told his dad that he would make his living in coal all right, but it would be above the ground rather than below. As the coal business was decidedly seasonal, George insulated one of the coal sheds with sawdust and began selling ice in the summer. With the need for both ice and coal beginning to diminish in the late 30's, George began dealing in rags and scrap metals, changing the name of the business to Anderson Steel Company. During World War II, the later business flourished as the importance of these critical materials became essential to the war effort.
David Thebodo bought the business from the late George Anderson in 1990, retaining the name of Anderson Steel Company. He began adding rail motor cars and cabooses to the inventory about a year later, changing the name to Anderson Steel Flange Railroad Equipment Company. David kept expanding the business, purchasing cars from major railroad carriers such as Amtrak. He also traveled to scrap yards and depots around the country to find cars that are about to be destroyed or abandoned.
Rail Merchants International, a specialized division of Anderson Steel Flange Railroad Equipment Company, was formed as a result of this continued expansion to better reflect what we do: the marketing, buying and selling of deluxe passenger rail cars throughout North America and the world.
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