Rail a growth opportunity for manufacturers, economic analyst says (4/28/2008)


An economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA) believes one transportation mode presents a growth opportunity for manufacturers despite recent economic woes — rail.

"Although, in general, the transportation arena has been hit hard by the economic downturn and many traditional areas are in some distress, one surprise in this sector is the rail industry, with a solid expectation for growth given the realities of fuel costs," said Chris Kuehl, the association's economic analyst, in a prepared statement.

Surging demand for food commodities will continue to be a boon for railroads, as will demand for cleaner burning coal, he said.

"In response, the major freight rail operations are discussing expansion and the need to buy more rail cars, specialized yard equipment and even the rail itself," said Kuehl.

Founded in 1970, FMA represents the interests of more than 2,300 member companies in the metal forming and fabricating industry.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News