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Greenbrier developed a railcar made of “green“ steel and with a greater payload

15 December 2021
Reading time ~ 2 min
3D-render of Greenbrier’ new gondola car for Northern America market
3D-render of Greenbrier’ new gondola car for Northern America market. Source: GBRX
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 2 min
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

USA: New gondola car was created by the manufacturer jointly with U.S. Steel and the freight railway operator Norfolk Southern, which has already placed an initial order for 800 such cars.

At the same time, the four-axle gondola railcar designed for the North American market is presented only in 3D-renders format. The parties have not disclosed plans to show the full-scale model yet.

Scheme of Greenbrier’ new gondola car for Northern America market. Source: GBRX

Greenbrier (GBRX) explains several positive environmental and climate effects that the new railcar will bring in operation. First, the new type of steel made by U.S. Steel, that is used in the railcar production, is twice stronger than the one used for the previous generation of the rolling stock. This allowed extending useful life of the gondola car up to 50 years and reducing the costs of its maintenance, according to Greenbrier.

Secondly, the very process of new steel producing is more energy efficient, requires less time and less raw materials. As a result, the weight of the railcar was reduced to 27.9 tons. For comparison, a 52′-6″ gondola railcar manufactured by GBRX of the same capacity (79 cubic meters) weighs almost 31 tons. “The lower weight decreases the fuel needed by locomotives hauling the railcars, reducing energy usage and lowering emissions”, the company said.

Thirdly, the gondola railcar’s payload has been increased: for the new model it is 101.8 tons (+ 3% versus 52′-6 “).

It is worth noting that in the beginning of the month GBRX reported a significant volume of orders for new freight railcars for the fiscal quarter, which began in September 2021. The manufacturer signed contracts for the supply of 6.2 thousand railcars of various models for a total amount of $670 mln USD. The investments of GBRX in R&D in 2019-2021 amounted to $17.5 mln USD.