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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail-car orders, deliveries continue downward spiral, ARCI says

After discouraging rail-car orders and deliveries in the first and second quarters, third-quarter figures remain dreary, according to data released Oct. 23 by Railway Progress Institute Inc.'s American Railway Car Institute Committee (ARCI).

The quarter's 7,175 rail-car deliveries dropped significantly compared with 8,982 deliveries in the second quarter and 12,782 in third-quarter 2000. And 27,193 deliveries through 2001's first nine months declined 38 percent compared with 43,800 during a similar 2000 period.

Meanwhile, rail-car order figures reveal an even more significant descent: A nine-month total of 16,561 orders plummeted 56 percent compared with 37,357 during 2000's first nine months. However, 4,685 third-quarter orders actually rose compared with the second quarter's 3,461 orders.

"We have to go back to the early 1990s to see orders and deliveries this low," said ARCI spokesman Robert Matthews in a prepared statement, adding that ARCI hopes Congress acts quickly on pending recovery legislation to help the economy — and industry — rebound in 2002.

ARCI also reports a drop in car-order backlog: As of Oct. 1, 11,888 rail cars were on order but not delivered — 55 percent fewer compared with 26,218 last year.

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More News from 10/31/2001