FTR Associates has sharply reduced its expectations for railcar orders in 2009, in response to the fast-deteriorating condition of the general economy. The transportation and equipment forecasting firm released an interim revised rail equipment forecast for 2009 as a supplement to their North American Railroad Equipment & Deliveries Outlook. The expected fall-off in freight over the next year will push the equipment market into a further decline. Q3 2008 orders came in at an annual rate of 30,800 units and orders are expected to fall further over the next several quarters. FTR expects deliveries for 2009 not to exceed 29,000 units. Eric Starks, President of FTR stated ‘Without freight to haul, demand for transportation equipment has already begun to wane; we are forecasting a severe downturn in 2009.’

The next complete North American Railroad Equipment & Deliveries Outlook will be published December 15, 2008.

FTR Associates, located in Nashville, IN has been a leader in transportation forecasting for over 20 years. The company’s US Freight Model collects and analyzes all data likely to impact freight movement and demand, incorporating specific characteristics for over 200 commodity groups. FTR Associates’ forecast reports cover trucking and rail transportation and include demand analysis for commercial highway vehicles as well as railcars.