Corrugated Metals Blog

The Rebirth of Freight Railroads in North America

Posted by Ken Carlton

Oct 14, 2013 2:25:00 PM

freight_trainThe past few years have brought with them a freight-railroading renaissance in North America. For decades, over-the-road and airfreight had taken over the shipping landscape. Helped along by the recent boom in natural gas production, the lack of adequate pipelines, and always rising fuel costs, more industries have returned to shipping their goods by rail. According to the Wall Street Journal, we are in the middle of a  “…building boom unlike anything since the industry’s Gilded Age heyday in the 19th century.”

In 2013 alone, more than $14 billion is being put into new yards, stations, and track. Experts believe the industry will hit a high of 67,000 rail-car deliveries per year by 2017.

freight_train2As one might imagine, this new push comes with a demand for newer and more advanced rail cars. Currently there are 11 basic classifications of freight cars, each serving a different and important purpose. Within these categories, there is an extensive list of subclasses, each with its own specific demands. One of thing they all have in common is the demand for the highest quality and most innovative construction.


While corrugated steel was and still is the main material of choice for railcars, however, there has been a move toward the use of aluminum alloys for some of today’s freight rail cars.  These aluminum alloys include, Aluminum Magnesium (5052,5083,5086,5454,etc.) and Aluminum Magnesium Silicon (6061, 6082, etc.). Typically, they have a 30-year life span, and each year the industry is finding ways to make them lighter, stronger, and more cost-effective.

At Corrugated Metals, we are at the forefront of rail car roofing innovation. Recently we worked on a project that we believe will shape the way the freight cars roofs are made in the future. The key for the entire industry and us is the ability to efficiently and cost effectively custom roll form every type of metal used in the industry including:

  • Aluminum

  • Aluminized I & II

  • Galvannealed

  • Stainless Steel


  • Hot-Dipped Galvanized G-90 through G-285

  • Cold Rolled CQ (Commercial Quality)

  • Prepainted Galvanized & Aluminum

The future for transporting freight by rail looks bright, and everyday brings a new technology or materials that will keep the industry going for decades to come.  


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Topics: corrugated metals, corrugated railcars, passenger railcars

Did You Know Corrugated Metals Serves Customers in the Railcar Industry?

Posted by Ken Carlton

Nov 13, 2012 9:00:00 AM

For more than 100 years, Corrugated Metals has manufactured metal products for our customers. While our experience goes back more than a century, Corrugated Metals constantly rolls ahead with the times, meeting the changing needs of the industries we serve. We are dedicated to continuously improving our capabilities, both in our manufacturing processes and controls, and in our service to our customers.

Staying on track with the changing needs of our customers, we are always participating in the growth of the industries we cater to. With the recent spike in demand for freight cars (the spike is directly related to the resurgence in the auto industry), we’re happy to participate in the growth of the railcar industry that’s impacting manufacturers across the nation. Corrugated Metals manufactures component parts for both freight railcars (including boxcar and auto-carrying cars) and passenger railcars, two distinct segments in the rail industry.

railcar made out of corrugated metalFor the freight cars, Corrugated Metals provides roof systems for auto-carrying cars, and metal side screens. Our capabilities meet our customers’ width and gauge requirements of up to 64-inch coil widths and gauges of up to .250-inch material. Essentially, we can manufacture any component part needed within these specifications. Additionally, we easily meet our customers’ quality requirements. We are ISO 9001:2008 registered, maintaining a high level of quality throughout the production process.

For passenger railcars, Corrugated Metals manufactures the corrugated and roll-formed materials that go into the railcars, specifically in the roofs and side walls. We’re able to maintain tight tolerances and to work with special alloys in the manufacturing process.

Are you interested in learning more about the products and custom forming we can provide the freight car and passenger rail industries? Contact us to see how we can help!

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Topics: corrugated metals, corrugated railcars, passenger railcars, Rail Industry | Tagged corrugated, freight railcars, metal railcars