View Full Version : An OT question......

J Tiers
02-07-2005, 12:45 PM
Over the weekend, I happened to be stopped for a medium-long coal train that went thru town. About 120 cars. Union Pacific, all hopper cars.

I noticed that at least half of them were nice new shiny ones, obviously new, not just cleaned. First, because they don't clean railcars like that, and also because they were made a little different than the older ones in the same train. The new ones had different bracing and ribbing. They also looked as if they were made of stainless or possibly aluminum (for lightness?).

In any case, I started to wonder whether those were made in Korea, or in china? Maybe Mexico?

I assume that that sort of heavy construction, like shipbuilding, is so expensive here inside the US that it "obviously" is sent overseas.

Anyone know the origin of railcars these days?

02-07-2005, 12:57 PM
Most of them are made right here in the USA.
My welding instructor is a consultant to a tank car manufacturer.

Mike Burdick
02-07-2005, 02:06 PM
J Tiers,

Here’s a company headquartered in St Charles, Missouri that make them. Isn’t that almost in your back yard?


02-07-2005, 02:07 PM
Union Tank Car is one of the largest manufacturers of tank cars in the US. They are currently building a new plant in Alexandria La. that will create 1000 jobs. Bombardier Aerospace is one of the largest railcar manufacturers in the world including freight and passenger cars built both in Canada and the US.

In the last decade or so new style box cars are being built using high strength alloy steel instead of mild steel. It saves a lot of weight. They are easy to spot as the sides of the cars are very wavy and uneven looking. They make no effort to flatten the material as it makes no difference in service.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 02-07-2005).]

02-07-2005, 02:19 PM
Have a Union Pacific track 50 yards south of the shop, a Canadian National track 50 yards north. See (or hear ) a dozen or so loaded coal trains each day, locals tell me they're headed for Cairo, IL, for offloading to river barge, then north on the Ohio river.

If you stand close to a slow train, the aluminum cars are marked "THAW WITH RADIANT HEAT ONLY". Must of found out the hard way that aluminum melts at only 660 C!

Barry Milton

J Tiers
02-07-2005, 05:37 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mike Burdick:
J Tiers,

Here’s a company headquartered in St Charles, Missouri that make them. Isn’t that almost in your back yard?


St Charles is, indeed. But on the other hand, headquarters may be anywhere....and manufacturing anywhere else. In this case, manufacturing is in fact in other states, apparently, since they state two plants, both elsewhere (PA, WV)

Plus, per the paper, there have been layoffs......and plant closings, etc.......

If they are still made in the states, that's good....I had heard of moves to Mexico, at least.

I know that one big railroad wheel and axle manufacturer, Scullin Steel , went bust years ago. Their property down on Manchester was redeveloped for a shopping center, and now that is headed down the tubes as well, since WalMart moved their Sams Club store elsewhere. I used to live a couple blocks from Scullin Steel.