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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Freight-car builders still on pace to eclipse 60,000 deliveries, ARCI says


During the third quarter, rail-car orders and deliveries declined slightly compared with the second quarter, according to data released by the Railway Supply Institute’s American Railway Car Institute (ARCI). However, freight-car builders still are on pace to deliver more than 60,000 cars this year — a figure the industry hasn’t reached since the late 1990s — compared with 46,871 cars in 2004 and 32,184 cars in 2003, ARCI said.

Quarterly car orders and deliveries totaled 17,439 units and 16,987 units, respectively, compared with 19,132 units and 17,914 units in the second quarter. On the plus side, orders increased for all types of hopper cars, gondolas, and non-intermodal flat and tank cars.

“The slowdown in orders had been expected by ARCI members,” said ARCI spokesman Tom Simpson in a prepared statement.

The quarterly backlog of cars ordered but not yet delivered totaled 60,986 units, increasing slightly compared with the second quarter’s 60,544-unit backlog. During 2005’s first nine months, car orders totaled 54,044 units and deliveries reached 50,682 units.

ARCI member companies build more than 90 percent of the cars delivered in North America.

Yesterday, car builder FreightCar America Inc. reported its third-quarter orders totaled 6,884 units, a 40 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2004. The company’s backlog reached a record 19,134 units as of Sept. 30.

FreightCar America also reported that quarterly sales more than doubled to $263.4 million and the company earned net income of $17 million compared with a $7.5 million net loss in third-quarter 2004.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/28/2005