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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CPR: High-capacity box cars paying dividends for paper shippers


Canadian Pacific Railway's new fleet of 625 high-capacity box cars is pleasing paper customers. The railroad recently replaced 800 older box cars with the new cars, which have 25 percent more capacity.

The cars include damage-prevention features, such as longer end-of-car cushioning devices, and an improved wheel assembly designed to minimize lateral and vertical forces during transit.

"We have built a car that has the features shippers and receivers said
are most important to them," said Jim Buggs, CPR general manager of car management in a prepared statement.

Those features include reliable service and damage-free delivery — damaged paper rolls can delay newsprint companies' press production.

An official at The Washington Post Co. — which needs 195,000 tons of newsprint annually to print its newspaper — has noticed that paper breaks on presses are at an all-time low.

"What we're seeing in paper-roll quality off the new cars is unsurpassed and what we're seeing on the press is proof of it," said Rex Potts, Washington Post newsprint manager.

Even a small flat spot can cause press problems for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which runs presses at 62,000 copies per hour using 50-inch rolls.

"We have not had a rail-related pressroom problem since making the switch to CPR's big box cars, nor have we seen a load shift," said Manager of Newsprint Receiving Carl Orzech.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/31/2003