Lightweight Gondola Developed for NS

Norfolk Southern has teamed up with the Greenbrier Companies and United States Steel to develop a gondola that is being billed as built of more sustainable steel.

In a news release, NS said the car will be constructed by Greenbrier of lightweight, high-strength steel that was developed by U.S. Steel.

The Class 1 carrier called the use of such steel “a real revolution for rail cars.” Each gondola will weigh up to 15,000 pounds less than comparable cars when empty.

NS plans to acquire 800 of the gondolas for use in hauling metal scraps, coils, wood chips, steel slabs and ore.

Lightweight steel could be applied to other types of freight cars NS said. The news release said the railroad would recycle existing gondolas as new ones are placed in revenue service.

NS said the new gondolas use steel that is twice as strong as traditional steel used in the rail-car manufacturing process, which potentially could extend the useful life of each gondola to 50 years.

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