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Rail News: Mechanical

'Upbeat' rail-car market won't miss a beat next year, EPA says


Although freight-car builders didn’t receive a single order for intermodal equipment during the third quarter, car orders totaled 17,400 units and deliveries reached 17,000 units, according to Economic Planning Associates’ (EPA) quarterly car market report.

The quarterly backlog totaled 61,000 cars on Sept. 30 — the third-consecutive quarterly gain. During the quarter, demand increased for coal and cement cars, and grain and plastic-pellet hoppers.

“The rail-car environment is distinctly upbeat — we don’t anticipate any significant curtailment in demand during the next two years or even the next five years,” EPA officials said in the report. “While railroads have extended their investments to include rail cars and locomotives, customers, shippers and lessors have also joined the parade, as various fleets are being expanded and/or upgraded with today’s newer, larger and more efficient equipment.”

Based on current production rates and the existing backlog, car deliveries will reach 67,600 units by year end and 68,300 units in 2006, EPA predicts.

“Long term, we anticipate a relatively stable level of demand,” officials said. “After a moderate easing to 62,800 cars in 2007, we expect rail-car deliveries of about 60,000 units each year from 2008 through 2010.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/1/2005