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Rail News: Mechanical

Rail-car deliveries to surpass 73,000 in 2006, EPA says


Last year, rail-car deliveries totaled 68,600 units, a 46.4 percent increase compared with 2004. Car orders totaling 80,500 units exceeded deliveries and expanded builders’ backlogs to 69,400 units by year end. Expect more of the same this year, according to Economic Planning Associates Inc.’s (EPA) quarterly “Outlook for Rail Cars” report.

“Based on beginning year backlogs, strong customer market activities, intensifying pressure to replace aged units, and stable financial and inflation environments, the rail-car industry is poised to have another banner year,” EPA officials said in the report. “In addition, car builders will benefit from the fact that component capacity constraints and sharply escalating material costs will, for the most part, be behind them.”

This year, car deliveries will reach 73,800 units — the highest level since the peak years of 1998 and 1999, EPA predicts. In 2007, orders will “expand backlogs enough to accommodate deliveries of 69,800 cars,” the report states.

Deliveries will begin to moderate in 2008 to 62,800 units, but remain at historically high levels. By 2011, deliveries will gradually decline to 58,500 units, EPA projects.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/30/2006