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CN has begun to roll out the first of its new centerbeam rail cars ordered earlier this year from National Steel Car Ltd.CN received the first of 350 new centerbeams in August. The new builds are 73-foot riserless centerbeams with a maximum load capacity of 286,000 pounds, CN officials said in a website post.The cars' design stems from CN's research into optional draft energy management systems. The research culminated in a CN patent for a new arrangement now being deployed in the centerbeam's build, CN officials said.The car's build enables it to manage typical yard impacts with 6.5 inches of stroke but, unlike a traditional cushioned car, it also will provide up to 3 inches of draft protection while running on a train, they said.The new approach to managing energy provides the needed service improvements to reduce undesired train separations by about 67 percent, according to CN.Moreover, the centerbeam cars are equipped with the latest safety appliance standards to enhance the ride position and comfort of the crews."Improvements like these, as they promulgate through the fleet, have the capacity to meet the demands of railroading in the years to come," said Darrell Iler Sr., mechanical manager.The centerbeams are being manufactured at National Steel's plant in Hamilton, Ontario.