ARCI's Freight Car Statistics -- An Industry Barometer

By Edward Whalen, Former CEO of FreightCar America, Inc. 

The American Railway Car Institute (ARCI) was founded more than one hundred years ago by a group of railcar manufacturers who wished to work together to improve railcar performance and safety and standardize common components in cooperation with the railroads and the supply community.  The ARCI also maintained statistics on the number of railcars ordered, delivered and in backlog. This data was useful in estimating the demand for railcars. 

In 1994, the ARCI combined with the Railway Progress Institute, now known as the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) and functions as a committee of the RSI moving forward the objectives of the founding members. The Engineering and Design Subcommittee of the ARCI meets several times a year to address railcar design, safety and standardization issues in coordination with the Association of American Railroads Equipment Engineering Committee, the Federal Railway Administration and members of the supply community. The Association also represents the interests of railcar manufacturers and suppliers with respect to federal and state legislative and regulatory matters.

The ARCI continues to be the sole source for vital statistics on railcar orders, deliveries and backlog by railcar type. This information is of value to the members as well as the railroads and the investment community. Since 1970, more than two million freight cars have been added to the North American fleet.

Read this article on page 30 of the RSI 2013 Annual Report & Membership Directory which can be found here. If you would like a paper copy mailed to you please contact RSI at 202-347-4664.