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Railinc Releases 2012 North American Railcar Report

March 19, 2012

The size of the North American revenue-earning freight railcar fleet has not recovered to pre-recession population levels, but contraction is slowing. That is one observation in Railinc’s annual North American Freight Railcar Review, presented at the Rail Equipment Finance Conference held in La Quinta, CA. The review gives a snapshot of the North American railcar fleet over the previous calendar year, and includes statistics and overall trends from the Railinc Umler system. 

“As a subset of the North American rail fleet, the revenue-earning fleet is largely composed of freight cars that can be used in interchange service and against which an interline waybill can be placed,” said David Humphrey, Railinc senior business analyst. “We include seven equipment types in that description: hoppers, covered hoppers, gondolas, flats, tank cars, box cars, and refrigerated box cars.”

Among other findings, the review states that:

• Covered hoppers and tanks were the only two sub-fleets to increase in numbers in 2011, while hoppers and box cars experienced the greatest declines.

• The trend of cars with a gross rail load (GRL) of 286,000 lb predominating the new additions to the revenue-earning fleet continued in 2011.

These details and more, including full-color charts, can be found in the 2012 North American Freight Railcar Review. The review is available for free download at www.railinc.com. All data included in the report was compiled from the Railinc Umler system and represents the period from Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2011.

Sponsored by Railroad Financial Corp., the Rail Equipment Finance Conference brings together North America’s top rail finance and rail equipment professionals, who provide an exclusive look at critical industry issues. Railinc’s annual freight railcar review has been one of the most anticipated presentations at the conference for more than a decade.

Railinc is the railroad industry’s resource for rail data, IT, and information services. The company deploys data that helps railroads, rail equipment owners, and other industry participants manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently. Railinc is the largest single source of real-time, accurate interline rail data for the North American railroad system. Located in Cary, NC, Railinc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads.