Posts Tagged ‘new rail cars’

Rail Car Orders Decreased in 4th Quarter

January 27, 2021

The Railway Supply Institute’s American Railway Car Institute Committee reported recently that during the fourth quarter of 2020 rail car orders decreased to 3,397 units from 5,783 units in the third quarter, and from 8,464 units in fourth-quarter 2019.

Rail car deliveries and the backlog also declined during the fourth quarter, as the industry continued to grapple with economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, RSI officials said.

Cars delivered in the quarter fell to 6,216 units from 7,953 in the third quarter, and from 14,727 units delivered during fourth-quarter 2019. 

The rail-car backlog stood at 34,598 units on Dec. 31, 2020, down from 37,417 on Oct. 1, 2020.

During 2020 orders fell to 17,275 units compared with 37,196 in 2019, while 2020 deliveries dropped to 33,434 units from 58,026 in 2019.

Rail Car Deliveries Fell in 2nd Quarter

July 25, 2020

Rail car deliveries in the second quarter were 8,441 units, a fall of 15,623 units when compared to the same period in 2019 period.

The Railway Supply Institute’s American Railway Car Institute Committee said rail cars delivered during the second quarter this year also fell when compared to the first quarter deliveries of this year of 10,824 units.

The number of rail cars ordered in the second quarter declined to 1,923 units from 11,754 ordered during the same period a year ago.

Orders previously totaled 6,172 units in the first quarter and 8,464 units in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The rail car backlog was 39,612 units on July 1, down from 46,330 units on April 1.

The backlog previously totaled 51,295 units on Dec. 31, 2019, and 58,127 units on Oct. 1, 2019.

More Rail Cars Being Stored, Fewer Being Built

January 16, 2020

More rail cars are being stored and fewer of them are being built.

Although that is partly the result of a move by Class 1 railroads toward the precision scheduled railroading operating model, lower traffic volumes are also playing a role.

About 408,000 rail freight cars are being stored in North America and railroad officials say a 5.1 percent decline in traffic in 2019 is one factor behind that.

Speaking to a Midwest shippers conference this week in suburban Chicago, Greenbrier Companies President and CEO Lorrie Tekorius said the outlook for new rail car construction in 2020 and beyond is down from earlier projections.

Carbuilders now are expected to produce around 38,200 units in 2020 and 35,825 units in 2021.

That compared with 50,803 units built in 2018 and 82,296 units built in 2015.

Most of the loss comes from cars being built to haul coal and intermodal as well as diminished boxcar production.

Tekorius said that as the average speed of trains increases so does the need for rail cars.

She said a 1 mile per hour change in overall velocity can affect 50,000 rail cars as fewer or more are needed to meet demands.

Last year rail velocity increased by 3.7 mph compared with 2018.

Tekorius said that some cars are being pulled from storage that are used to move crude oil, ethanol and propane, which is a sign of possible change in those markets.

Union Pacific President and CEO Lance Fritz spoke at the conference about diminished rail traffic, saying UP now sees about 6.8 freight cars per carload generated, which is a historic low.

He said PSR has brought a fundamental shift in rail car needs.

“For us, it’s probably going to be (around) forever,” he said, adding that intermodal cars could be driven lower because of how they are used.

“We’re all going to be storing cars,” Fritz said. “I’m storing UP cars now that we’re going to need a lot more business to bring out again and run.”

Rail Car Orders Lagged in the 3rd Quarter

October 26, 2019

Rail car builders continue to produce new cars at a robust pace, but new orders are lagging, which the American Railway Car Institute said is evidence of a softer rail market.

During the third quarter of 2019 there were 7,315 rail-car orders placed, which was below the 11,754 cars ordered in the second quarter of this year and substantially less than the 24,972 cars ordered in the third quarter of 2018.

Car deliveries in the third quarter fell 7 percent to 14,571 cars from the 15,623 cars delivered in the second quarter, but rose 30 percent from the 11,221 cars delivered in the third quarter of 2018.

The rail-car backlog of 58,127 units on Oct. 1, was the lowest level since the second quarter of 2011 the ARCI said.

The Oct. 1 figure compares with 69,227 cars on July 1 and 73,076 cars on April 1.

The ARCI is part of the Railway Supply Institute.

New Locomotive, Rail Car Market Has Slowed

September 7, 2019

Panelists appearing at the Cowen & Company Global Transport Conference in Boston this week said that orders and inquiries about new rail cars have softened but not fallen off a cliff.

The industry experts also described the market for new locomotives in North America as weak and likely to remain that way for the for the foreseeable future due to falling rail traffic and the effects of Class 1 railroads implementing the precision scheduled railroading operating model.

PSR emphasizes cost cutting while operating fewer, although longer, trains. Railroads using PSR typically mothball locomotives and are selective in how many new ones that they buy.

Nonetheless, the panel reported that the locomotive modernization business remains robust with most railroads having plans to renovate at least some units.

A representative of Wabtec, which within the past year acquired locomotive builder GE Transportation, said that modernization work nets about half the revenue of a new-build but at much higher margins.

As for rail car leasing, stability is built into lease rates in some railcar types, but in others, such as DOT117 tank cars, rates have dropped significantly to roughly half their most recent peak. Secondary market valuations for railcars remains solid overall yet has softened for some rail car types.

The prices of newly built cars have fallen despite demand softness, as prices of materials have risen, and some investors are giving priority to new cars over existing ones.