TrinityRail®: Hourglass™, TrinFlo™ the New Shape of Railcars

Written by Andrew Corselli
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North America’s premier provider of railcar products and services, TrinityRail, brought two new railcars to exhibit at Railway Interchange 2019: the Hourglass™ and the TrinFlo™.

The Hourglass™ is a new, patented autorack design intended to optimize interior width for greater access, enhanced ergonomics and what TrinityRail believes will greatly reduce damage claims on motor vehicles being transported.

The Hourglass’ side posts and screens have been extended where possible for additional width. In addition to its extra interior width and unique shape, it fits on a new or existing standard 89-foot flat car allowing it to easily work in conventional loading/unloading patterns—thus, no special handling is needed when in service. The Hourglass’ current application has been in bi-level service due to current market conditions where larger vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks are in demand.

TrinityRail’s facility in Cartersville, Ga., has been repositioned as a true autorack service center featuring what the company calls RecertPlus®. This provides added value to standard recertification and rebuilding of existing racks. TrinityRail says that its RecertPlus® program “for refurbishing and extending the life of your autorack fleet is second to none.”

TrinityRail’s other railcar on exhibit was the TrinFlo™—a longitudinal discharge covered hopper. The TrinFlo is based on TrinityRail’s industry-proven, patented, longitudinal door system. TrinityRail, through Ortner Freight Car, pioneered Rapid Discharge technology in the coal market, and introduced the RDL®, the longitudinal version of the Rapid Discharge coal family and would later extend this to the aggregate market with the RDL-A™.

This technology has now been applied to the grain market. The TrinFlo™ is optimized for unit train service, in terms of car length and speed of discharge. The design is scalable across multiple covered hoppers. The car TrinityRail had on display was a 5,211-cubic-foot car, but the TrinFlo™ design could be applied to multiple-capacity cars (TrinityRail has also produced a 3,902-cubic-foot TrinFlo™). To-date, more than 7,400 longitudinal discharge cars have been put in service.

On November 1, 2018, Trinity Industries completed a spin-off of its infrastructure-related businesses. The company is now primarily focused on operating its integrated rail businesses. These market-leading businesses provide railcar products and services marketed under the trade name TrinityRail®. The TrinityRail integrated platform is designed to optimize the ownership and usage of railcars, enabling customers to devote more resources to their core competencies.

In addition to being the leading manufacturer of railcars in North America, TrinityRail leases and services one of the largest fleets, with an owned and managed fleet of more than 124,000 cars. In addition, TrinityRail is a leading provider of railcar parts, maintenance, investor services and dedicated on-site field support for operational assistance and training.

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