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North American railroads, lessors and other asset owners continue to invest in rolling stock as they prepare for the next phase of the rail renaissance. In the first quarter, rail-car orders totaled 24,050 units compared with 14,865 units in fourth-quarter 2013 and 23,901 units in first-quarter 2013, according to the American Railway Car Institute Committee of the Railway Supply Institute. Orders totaled 12,753 units in third-quarter 2013 and 14,850 units in second-quarter 2013. Although tank-car order activity continues to dominate the freight-car environment, officials at Economic Planning Associates Inc. (EPA) say they are “enthused” by the strong recent growth in demand for mid-sized and small-cube covered hoppers, as well as the high level of backlogs for hi-cube equipment.On the locomotive side: The 665 new units Class Is placed in service last year were the most since 2008, according to Association of American Railroads data, and the major roads continue to set aside millions of dollars for locomotives and locomotive-related equipment. Union Pacific Railroad increased its total spending plan to $4.1 billion this year, and the additional capital will be used to acquire equipment — including 29 more locomotives. BNSF Railway Inc. set aside $1.6 billion to acquire locomotives and other equipment (as well as freight cars). CN’s 2014 equipment expenditure budget is $300 million and includes the acquisition of 45 more new high-horsepower locomotives. By year’s end, the Class I will have acquired 763 high-horsepower locomotives over a 10-year period, representing more than half of the high-horsepower mainline fleet.
Selected Car Fleet Data (pdf)
Railroad Car Owners (pdf)
Private Car Owners (pdf)
Freight Cars Installed by Class I Railroads and Others (pdf)
How the U.S. Freight Car Fleet Has Changed (pdf)
U.S. Freight Cars by Type and Age (pdf)
Class I Locomotives (pdf)