Leading the way and investing in the Northland is nothing new to U.S. Steel.  Their most-recent investment will help to increase the long term viability of the steel industry while making their workflow more sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Through investment with two other partners - Norfolk Southern Corporation and The Greenbriar Companies, Inc. - U.S. Steel designed new steel gondola railcars which will eventually replace the existing fleet.  The new railcars provide a variety of helpful improvements.

By using a "high-strength, lighter-weight steel", the railcars are reduced in weight by 15,000 pounds each.  According to our news partners at WDIO-TV, the new railcars provide a multitude of benefits:

  • Extended lifecycle:  The new steel is twice as strong as traditional steel, potentially extending the useful life of each gondola to 50 years.  A stronger external finish also strengthens the railcar body, lowering maintenance costs.
  • Increased sustainability:  The new gondolas will be more energy-efficient - both in production and in general use.  The steel fabrication process requires less time, leading to greater efficiencies.  The lower weight also decreases the fuel needed by locomotives hauling the railcars, reducing energy use and lowering emissions in the process.
  • Greater freight capacity:  Enhancements to the gondola design allow for greater capacities in hauling.  The high-strength steel requires less structural reinforcement, simplifying the manufacturing process, and allowing for more total cargo space in each gondola railcar

While business partnerships are common, this particular one is noteworthy. This project brought together "supplier, builder, and end-user" in a way that not only makes improvements on each's business model but also provides for the general good in sustainability and the environment.

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