Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Greenbrier Cos. debuts Multi-Max auto railcar

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Greenbrier Cos. debuts Multi-Max auto railcar The Greenbrier Cos.

At a ceremony in Cleburne, Tex., Wednesday, May 29, the Greenbrier Cos. introduced Multi-Max, an automotive railcar that the company says "significantly advances the options for transporting autos by rail."

Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Greenbrier says Multi-MaxTM features a patented adjustable deck to allow railroads to shift between bi- and tri-level service using techniques that were previously unavailable

Multi-Max allows for complete deck adjustments in as little as five hours, without removing the deck during reconfiguration. Because it is fully compatible with the bi-level and tri-level fleet currently on the rails, operators do not need to segregate Multi-Max or manage it separately from other railcars.

The company says the proprietary sealed end-door on Multi-Max "limits theft and vandalism, offering superior cargo security for unmatched vehicle safety and protection over long-distance hauls. Multi-Max also keeps new automobiles looking new with enhanced door edges that provide smooth cargo loading, reducing the risk of damage in transit."

"Greenbrier designed Multi-Max to help railroads meet the changing requirements of today's automobile manufacturers," said William G. Glenn, senior vice president and chief commercial officer. "Consumer preferences for automobiles are less predictable, causing automakers to build factories that can quickly transform from manufacturing large vehicles like SUVs and light trucks to smaller vehicles like sedans and subcompacts. With its proprietary adjustable decks, Multi-Max means railroads no longer need to place a bet on whether they will need bi-level rail service to transport large vehicles or tri-level service for smaller vehicles. Multi-Max means railroads always have the right mix of equipment ready to move automobiles."

Multi-Max was developed with input from Class I railroads and automotive manufacturers. Multi-Max joins four other automotive railcar designs offered by Greenbrier in North America and Europe.

"Greenbrier took the lead with several railroads to capture ideas, design those concepts and now build a railcar that meets our needs today and tomorrow," said Paddy O'Neill, senior director equipment planning at Norfolk Southern Corp. "The convertibility features of Multi-Max enable railroads to more cost effectively serve their customers. This truly innovative design demonstrates Greenbrier's ability to make its customers' desires a reality and places Greenbrier at the vanguard of rail innovation."

"Toyota's ongoing efforts to localize production in North America require flexible production capacity at our seven automotive assembly plants," said Mike Nelson, national rail strategy and operations manager of Toyota Logistics Services, Inc. "Multi-Max's new design enhancements are adjustable and support quality vehicle delivery in the quickest, most efficient way possible. Our 12 North American built vehicles require a rail delivery product that can match our ability to quickly respond to fluctuating market demands."

Greenbrier's automotive railcar products, including Multi-Max, are also manufactured in Mexico, where the company says it is "well-positioned at its low-cost and flexible facilities to capitalize on the geographic change in automotive manufacturing."

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