The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet was nearly unchanged during the fourth quarter of 2019. The total equipment count was 2,132,298, for a percent change of zero.

The three largest segments during the quarter were Covered Hoppers (29 percent), Tank Cars (21 percent) and Gondolas (11 percent).

Five car groups increased from the last quarter, led by EOTs, up 2.5 percent, and Intermodal, up 0.8 percent. Tanks and IM Flats increased 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Hoppers led declines, down 1.3 percent.

The total count of equipment in the revenue-earning fleet currently stands at about 1.65 million, down by 0.4 percent from the previous quarter. Open Hoppers and Gondolas led gains, up 2.8 and 2.2 percent, respectively. Tanks decreased the most (2.4 percent).

The revenue-earning fleet is a subset of the North American rail fleet that is largely composed of freight cars that can be used in interchange service and against which an interline waybill can be placed. The revenue-earning fleet of freight cars is made up of six sub-fleets: box cars, covered hoppers, flats, gondolas, open hoppers and tank cars. It excludes locomotives, intermodal trailers and containers, maintenance-of-way equipment and end-of-train devices.

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Q4 Umler Index Graphic

Data Source: Railinc Umler System. Data represents all equipment units on files, including pre-registered, restricted and scrap units.

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