February 21 - UTC Overseas Inc. has commisssioned a new custom-designed railcar for handling project cargoes, with a 12.2 m long centre-deck and a load capacity of over 400 tonnes.

After detailed evaluations and consultations with customers, UTC gave the go ahead to the manufacturer of its own custom-designed 16-axle depressed centre car. Construction began in January and delivery is scheduled for May 2014.

"This railcar will have the longest load deck of any 16-axle depressed centre car currently available in North America," claims UTC's Houston base vice president for North American project development, Matt Loll.

Project manager at UTC, Matt Fielder discussed the reasons for commissioning the new railcar: "In recent years, the size and weight of the project cargoes our customers have been asking us to handle has been steadily growing."

UTC notes the growth of larger plants in North American power generation industries requiring the transport of larger turbines, generator, stator, diesel engines and gensets.

"Until now, we have turned to the leasing market when we need specialised rail equipment for complex moves," added another project manager, Jim Lange. "However, the number of such cars available nationwide is extremely limited and they are in high demand."

The commissioning of the new railcar follows the recent production of UTC's own custom-designed bolster plate system, which allows rail transport of extra long project cargoes using pairs of flatcars as mounting points.