Project cargo logistics experts UTC Overseas, Inc. has announced the commissioning of a new custom-designed railcar—featuring a 40-foot long depressed center-deck with a 400+ short-ton load capacity. “This railcar will have the longest load deck of any 16-axle depressed-center car currently available in North America,” said UTC’s Houston-based Vice President for North American Project Development Matt Loll. “Its special features and cost-effective capabilities provide a new and unique project cargo rail option for our customers, “ adds UTC Houston Senior Project Engineer Joe Sindelar.

“In recent years, the size and weight of the project cargoes our customers have been asking us to handle has been steadily growing,” says UTC Project Manager Matt Fielder. “We rely heavily on both water and rail to move such shipments as close as possible to their final destinations and reduce or eliminate complex, time-consuming and expensive over-the-road transport, route surveys, studies and bridge engineering.”

“Until now, we have turned to the leasing market when we need specialized rail equipment for complex moves,” said Project Manager Jim Lange. “However, the number of such cars available nationwide is extremely limited and they are in high demand. Extensive lead time is often necessary to make sure the right kind of equipment will be available when we need it.”

After detailed and extensive evaluations consultations with customers, UTC gave the go-ahead to the manufacture of its own custom-designed 16-axle depressed-center car. The UTC rail team agreed on the car’s specifications quite quickly. “At present there are less than a half-dozen of these cars available in the leasing market and none of them have a deck longer than 36 feet,” Sindelar said. “Our design, developed in response to customer feedback, features a 40-foot deck and less restrictive travel requirements. It will also create real cost savings for our customers. Overall, it represents an important advance in a market where the size and weight of cargo we are being asked to handle is steadily increasing.”

“This is especially true in the power generation and distribution field where a new generation of larger and more efficient plants are being built, and older ones are being extensively refurbished and modernized. For us, that means transport and logistics planning for larger turbines, generators, stators, diesel engines and gensets – sourced both domestically and from overseas, and bound for job sites throughout North America.”

UTC selected the manufacturer in the second half of 2013. Construction began in January, and delivery is set for May, 2014. “Our contractor’s facilities and engineering team are AAR (Association of American Railroads) certified, assuring that our design is thoroughly reviewed and that the completed unit will meet all necessary rail industry standards and certifications,” Sindelar noted.

“This is a major investment on our part with more planned,” notes UTC Executive Vice President Marco Poisler. “It follows the recent production of our own custom-designed “bolster plate” system, allowing rail transport of extra-long project cargoes using pairs of flatcars as mounting points.”

“Our willingness to make investments of this magnitude reflects UTC’s continued commitment to listening and responding to the needs of our customers, and providing them with as wide a range as possible of safe and cost-effective options for the handling of their cargoes – door-to-door or any combination along the way. It also emphasizes the continued success and growth of UTC’s Rail Division as one of the industry’s leading providers.”

Complete Specifications – UTC 40-Foot Deck/16-Axle Rail Car:

Load Deck Length: 40 feet

Overall Car Length: 149’-8”

Gross Rail Load: 1,144,000

Est. Lightweight: 340,000

Est. Capacity: 804,000

Steel Type: T1

Empty Deck Height: 52”

200,000 lb. Deck Height 47.5”

400,000 lb. Deck Height 43”

600,000 lb. Deck Height 38.5”

Full Load Deck Height 34”