Railcar builder Greenbrier said it has booked orders in June and July to build another 3,700 railcars valued around $285 million.
That brings its total to 18,000 new car orders since the company’s fiscal year began last Sept. 1., paralleling an uptick in freight equipment orders this year.
The new units will mainly be delivered in calendar 2012. Greenbrier said they “are primarily for double-stack intermodal platforms, boxcars, covered hopper cars and tank cars for the North American market and various car types for the European market.”
It did not name the customers placing orders. Earlier, railcar fleet leasing firm CIT Rail said it ordered 5,000 tank and hopper cars from three suppliers, mainly for 2012 delivery. CIT’s batch of orders totaled $475 million.
Greenbrier previously said demand is also strong for intermodal well cars to carry domestic 53-foot containers.
The freight equipment market has been one of the economy’s few signs of solid strength in recent months, with manufacturing backlogs up for a range of commercial trucks, ocean vessels, river barges and containers as well as railcars.
To keep up with demand, Greenbrier opened another railcar production line in July and expects to open one more this fall. It also plans to boost output rates for tank cars later this year. Those units are in demand to haul ethanol and chemicals, plus the growing volume of oil flowing out of Canadian tar sands that need to get to refineries at the Gulf of Mexico.
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