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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail-car builders road-to-recovery to start in second-half 2002, EPA says


Rail-car demand will remain extremely weak into spring, then modestly rebound.
That's the prediction Economic Planning Associates Inc. (EPA) makes in its recently released Outlook for Rail Cars quarterly report.
Year-to-date rail-car orders totaled 16,561 — the lowest order lever in more than a decade. Outside of coal, box and tank cars, third-quarter rail-car demand "was nonexistent," according to EPA's executive summary.
Based on current production and backlog levels, EPA predicts 34,200 rail-car deliveries though 2001; because 2002 would begin with a reduced backlog and low demand, deliveries likely would drop to 31,600 units.
But by mid-2002, EPA expects demand to rise, increasing backlogs during the year's second half and eventually boosting deliveries between 2003 and 2006.
With higher demand for aluminum coal cars, high-cube covered hoppers, tank cars, and intermodal platforms and wells, EPA predicts 2006 deliveries will reach 62,500 units.