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3/4/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail-car deliveries soon to bottom-out before a slow second-half rise, EPA says


While North American rail-car deliveries last year plummeted to 34,200 — the lowest level since 1992 — the worst is yet to come, according to Economic Planning Associates Inc.'s (EPA) recently released "Outlook for Rail Cars" quarterly report.
Because of a weak car-delivery start to 2002, EPA now projects 20,100 rail-car deliveries this year, which would mark the lowest total since 1987.
However, demand should pick-up in second-half 2002, leading to 33,700 deliveries next year, says EPA, based on improving chemical, metal and paper-product moves tied to manufacturing ramp ups, rising aggregate moves because of a burgeoning construction industry, and increasing finished-vehicle and auto-parts moves in relation to dwindling dealer inventories.
Looking further into the future, EPA believes rail-car deliveries will rise to 44,000 in 2004, then steadily build to 62,500 by 2007, because increasing coal, light-vehicle, construction, chemical and plastic production will spur demand for rail cars serving those industries.


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