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Rail-car orders and deliveries continue to drop, ARCI says


Rail-car orders and deliveries dropped sharply in the second quarter, according to data released July 27 by American Railway Car Institute Committee (ARCI) of Railway Progress Institute.
The quarter's 3,461 car orders dropped 59 percent compared with the first quarter's 8,413 orders and a whopping 70 percent compared with second-quarter 2000's 11,595 orders.
Meanwhile, second-quarter rail-car deliveries fell 19 percent to 8,982 compared with the first quarter's 11,070 deliveries, and 37 percent compared with second-quarter 2000's 14,179 deliveries.
"With the railroads almost fully recovered from the merger-related service problems, and the economy plodding along, the demand for new freight cars is not there," said ARCI spokesman Robert Matthews in a prepared statement.
As of July 1, the rail-car backlog of 14,452 units ordered but not delivered was barely half the July 1, 2000, total of 28,176.
Looking to the future, ARCI predicts 30,625 car orders through 2001, 38,000 in 2002 and 47,750 in 2003, according to a forecast the organization released July 19 at its annual Market Forecast Subcommittee meeting in Chicago.
The forecast, which is based on a survey of seven major North American car builders and several component suppliers, also projects 30,850 rail-car deliveries through 2001, 33,386 in 2002 and 39,729 in 2003.
The rail-car backlog should rise to 35,058 by Jan. 1, 2004 — the end of ARCI's forecast period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/27/2001