North American Freight Railcar Fleet Grows

North American Freight Railcar Fleet Grows

The size of the revenue-earning freight railcar fleet in North America rose by 1.1 percent in 2012 to 1.5 million units of equipment, but has not recovered to pre-recession population levels, according to Railinc’s 2013 North American Freight Railcar Review, which provides a snapshot of the North American railcar fleet compared with the previous year and includes statistics and overall trends from the Railinc Umler system.

“Notably, there was an increase in North America’s three largest sub-fleets, including covered hopper cars, tank cars and gondola cars,” said David Humphrey, Railinc senior analyst, in a written statement. However, the other North American sub-fleets — hopper cars, flat cars and box cars — decreased year-over-year.

Additionally, the average age of the revenue-earning fleet decreased slightly in 2012, the first time in four years that the fleet got younger.