Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Greenbrier produces 50,000th covered hopper

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A rendering of Greenbrier's 5,446cf covered hopper. A rendering of Greenbrier's 5,446cf covered hopper. The Greenbrier Companies

The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. on Sept. 13 announced production of its 50,000th covered hopper, just months after it reached a major intermodal mark.

This production milestone follows Greenbrier’s announcement in February of reaching 100,000th intermodal doublestack railcars. “These achievements demonstrate Greenbrier’s leadership in innovative engineering and manufacturing excellence within North America’s competitive freight railcar markets,” the company said. “These landmark events also exemplify Greenbrier’s transformation in recent years from a limited builder of specialized railcars to a broad-based manufacturer of virtually all railcar types.”

GreenBrierHopperWeb2Greenbrier built its first covered hopper more than 11 years ago. Today, Greenbrier builds a full line of small-, medium- and large-cube covered hoppers with freight carrying capacities from 3,250cf up to 6,580cf. Covered hoppers, the largest single railcar type in service, comprising more than one-third of the North American fleet, “are integral to North American freight movement, carrying a wide variety of dry bulk including grain and agricultural products, plastics and chemicals, and nonmetallic minerals, including sand and cement,” the company said.

Greenbrier said its railcar development is based upon being responsive to customer needs, allowing the company “to make meaningful advancements in covered hopper technology that enhance rail transportation for a broad range of commodities.”

Greenbrier recently developed two new medium-cube railcars. One is designed to transport lighter weight agricultural products. It features a carrying capacity of 5,446cf with a length of 56 feet and a light weight of 59,500 pounds, “lighter than existing railcars.” The other, designed for transporting heavy agricultural products, is 54 feet long, “two feet shorter than its closest competition,” with a carrying capacity of 5,100cf and a light weight of 58,700 pounds.

Greenbrier also noted that its covered hoppers feature an updated roofline “that improves loading and unloading access for increased transloading efficiency.”

“Our latest covered hoppers are best in class,” said Executive Vice President, Commercial and Leasing Mark Rittenbaum. “Both feature a recent patent-pending design for reduced weight. We are focused on increasing cubic capacity and reducing length and weight in all Greenbrier covered hopper designs. We prioritize innovation and design so that we always meet the needs of our customers and capitalize on modernization opportunities to achieve market growth.”

Commented Chairman and CEO William A. Furman, “Greenbrier strives to diversify our product offerings and access new markets. We are relentless about improving the performance of our railcars to meet the needs of our customers. This is our second landmark achievement in 2017, following our 100,000th intermodal doublestack unit produced at Gunderson earlier this year. This latest milestone highlights Greenbrier’s leadership in the railcar industry. It also solidifies our position as a global manufacturer, with headquarters in the U.S., and major manufacturing operations on three continents. I am grateful for all our employees and customers who will always be essential to Greenbrier’s growth and success.”

Greenbrier is exhibiting at Railway Interchange in Indianapolis, September 17-19, Booth 2931.