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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

7/12/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Johnstown America unveils steel-slab car


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One way to fight through a market slump like the one freight-car builders now are muddling through is to come up with something new. With the July 10 introduction of a lightweight car engineered specifically for steel-slab hauling, Johnstown America Corp. officials believe they’ve done just that.

Featuring a 241,000-pound load limit, the Slab Car is designed to haul slabs up to 40 feet long and 76 inches wide, and to haul one additional steel slab per carload. It’s also about 20,000 pounds lighter than cars now used for slab hauling, according to a Johnstown America statement. Material handlers can load and unload the new car using an overhead crane or forklift from either car side.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Rio Doce Pasha Terminal, California Steel Industries Inc. and Johnstown America co-developed the slab-car concept.

"BNSF had been studying rail-car options to ship steel slabs more efficiently by rail," said Tim Mann, Johnstown America product line manager, in a prepared statement. "We worked together to develop a list of features that a special-purpose slab car should have, then researched the application and worked with the BNSF engineers to finalize the design."

BNSF plans to start using the cars to haul imported slabs to California Steel sometime this fall.


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