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Rail News: Mechanical

Rail-car deliveries will surpass 60,000 this year, Rail Theory Forecasts says


Rail Theory Forecasts L.L.C. recently crunched all the numbers affecting the rail-car market and came up with a new projection for car deliveries this year: 60,500. The new estimate is 15 percent higher compared with the market analysis and rail industry forecasting firm’s October 2004 projection of 52,300 car deliveries in 2005.

“In spite of universal complaints about cast parts shortages, rail-car manufacturers were able to increase their quarterly production rate from 12,000 to 15,000 cars during the fourth quarter and have maintained that rate of delivery during the first quarter of 2005,” said Rail Theory Forecasts President and Progressive Railroading columnist Toby Kolstad in a prepared statement. “Heavy orders for coal cars and intermodal equipment boosted first-quarter sales to over 17,000 cars and increased the backlog of orders over the Dec. 31, 2004 total.”

During the past 15 months, the car order rate reached a level that would support 70,000 deliveries if car builders could increase their production to meet that demand, he said. Inflated new car prices have dampened demand for box cars, but prices aren’t affecting demand for other car types.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/28/2005