Rail Car Orders, Tie Production Show Increases

Rail car orders and crosstie production are both up this year.

The Railway Supply Institute said rail-car orders in the first quarter totaled 10,348 units compared with 8,501 units in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 4,814 units in the first quarter of 2017.

However, car deliveries in the first quarter of 2018 fell to 13,098 units from 13,404 units in the fourth quarter of 2017. Deliveries for the third and second quarters of 2017 were 11,015 and 10,625 units, respectively. In the first quarter of 2017, deliveries totaled 10,042 units.

The rail-car backlog stood at 55,216 units as of April 1, 2018. That compares with 53,475 on Dec. 31, 2017; 64,253 on Oct. 1, 2017; and 66,561 on July 1, 2017, according to ARCI data.

The Railway Tie Association said tie production increased 4.3 percent to 1.47 million units in March and tie purchases inched up 0.2 percent to 1.84 million units compared with February levels.

On a year-over-year basis, purchases were up 2.7 percent in March, but production was down 21.1 percent.

In the first quarter, production totaled 4.16 million ties, down 25.1 percent compared with the same 2017 period. But purchases totaling 5.26 million ties climbed 21.8 percent.

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