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Greenbrier builds 50 000th covered hopper railcar

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Dry Bulk,

The Greenbrier Companies Inc. has completed production on its 50 000th covered hopper railcar. This milestone follows Greenbrier's announcement in February of the production of its 100 000th intermodal double stack railcar.

According to Greenbrier, these achievements demonstrate Greenbrier's leadership in innovative engineering and manufacturing excellence within North America's competitive freight railcar markets. These landmark events also exemplify Greenbrier's transformation in recent years from a limited builder of specialised railcars to a broad-based manufacturer of virtually all railcar types.

Greenbrier built its first covered hopper railcar over 11 years ago.  Today, Greenbrier builds a full line of small, medium and large covered hopper railcars with freight carrying capacities from 3250 ft3 up to 6580 ft3.  Covered hoppers are the largest single railcar type in service, comprising more than one-third of the North America fleet. Covered hoppers are integral to North American freight movement, carrying a wide variety of dry bulk including grain and agricultural products, plastics and chemicals, and nonmetallic minerals, including sand and cement.

Most recently, Greenbrier has developed two new medium covered hopper railcar designs.  One of the new cover hoppers is designed to transport lighter weight agricultural products. It features a carrying capacity of 5446 ft3 with a length of 56 feet and a light weight of 59 500 lb that is lighter than existing railcars. Greenbrier's new covered hopper design for transporting heavy agricultural products is 54 feet long, two feet shorter than its closet competition, with a carrying capacity of 5100 ft3 and a light weight of 58 700 lb. This covered hopper improves freight mobility through more efficient railroad operations. An additional enhancement to Greenbrier's covered hopper railcars includes an updated roofline that improves loading and unloading access for increased transloading efficiency.

"Our latest covered hopper railcars are best in class. Both feature a recent patent-pending design for reduced weight," said Mark Rittenbaum, Executive Vice President, Commercial and Leasing. "We are focused on increasing cubic capacity and reducing length and weight in all Greenbrier covered hopper designs. Greenbrier prioritises innovation and design so that we always meet the needs of our customers and capitalize on modernisation opportunities to achieve market growth."

"Greenbrier strives to diversify our product offerings and access new markets. We are relentless about improving the performance of our railcars to meet the needs of our customers," commented William A. Furman, Chairman and CEO. "This is our second landmark achievement in 2017, following our 100 000th intermodal double stack unit produced at Gunderson earlier this year. This latest milestone highlights Greenbrier's leadership in the railcar industry. It also solidifies our position as a global manufacturer, with headquarters in the United States, and major manufacturing operations on three continents. I am grateful for all our employees and customers who will always be essential to Greenbrier's growth and success."

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