The trouble (?) with tank-car orders

The tank-car order boom may have buoyed the price of railroad and rail-car builder stocks, but is it masking a few other key marketplace realities? Rail-car market analyst and Progressive Railroading columnist Toby Kolstad can't help wondering, as he notes in his May column. For now, his key questions are of the rhetorical variety — Have too many tank cars been ordered? If rail traffic is expected to increase, where are the orders for new cars other than tank? Is another surplus fleet being built? — but answers (or clearer hints regarding same) should begin trickling in later this year, I'd think. In the meantime, we'll track traffic and car-order trends, and monitor (filter?) the tank-car buzz and lingering rhetorical questions accordingly.

2 Replies

  • Hypothetically, without the development of the oil by train market, what would the forecast of car sales delivery be for 2013 and perhaps 2014?  

  • In reply to Jim Blaze:

    Thanks for commenting, Jim. I don't know that I've seen that kind of forecast, but I know that Economic Planning Associates Inc. (EPA), as of late April, was projecting deliveries of 50,500 cars this year. And in the first quarter of this year, tank car orders represented 80.6 percent of the total order share, according to EPA. EPA was projecting an order uptick in 2014 -- to 62,300 cars. I haven't seen tank car order share projections for next year (or even this quarter), but I imagine others out there have.

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