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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

2/2/2007    Freight-Car Market

Rail News: Mechanical

Rail-car deliveries to drop slightly to 69,000 units in 2007, bounce back to 70,500 units in 2008, EPA says

Last year was a “superb” one for rail-car builders, who received orders for 91,300 cars and produced 74,700 cars, according to Economic Planning Associates’ (EPA) quarterly “Outlook for Rail Cars” report. And based on projected rail traffic growth in several key commodities, 2007 could be another good year, EPA believes.

“Even though our softening economy will dampen growth in commodities such as metals, aggregates, lumber, motor vehicles and parts, and primary forest products, continued growth in coal, grain, and food and kindred products, as well as a modest rebound in chemicals and products, will lead to a 1.1 percent gain in commodity traffic this year,” the report states.

Based on car backlogs and orders at the beginning of 2007, EPA projects car deliveries will total 69,000 units this year. In 2008, fleet owners will be pressured to replace box car, and mid-sized and small-cube covered hoppers, and demand will continue to mount for tank and coal cars, centerbeams, high-cube covered hoppers and intermodal equipment, helping to drive up deliveries to 70,500 units, EPA said. Deliveries then will moderate to 67,000 units in 2009 and gradually decline to 58,800 units by 2012.

“Beyond 2008, our analysis of the major commodities hauled by rail, as well as anticipated intermodal movements, indicate that demand for rail cars will remain on solid footing for a number of years to come,” the report states.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.