Rail Equipment

Friday, September 16th

From sessions to networking, we impact your decision-making

A prime opportunity exists for the rail industry to capture share from the trucking market, but the continual rise of commodity costs and financing present headwinds for the market. Join us for an excellent agenda featuring a who's who of the rail equipment industry as well as exclusive FTR forecasts built on our exclusive Freight•cast™ forecasting methodology, you'll leave with a clear understanding of the true state of demand for new car builds.


  • Economic and freight outlooks that focus on factors that will affect rail demand

  • An update on regulations, focusing on the upcoming tank rule implementation

  • Executive Keynote discussion to get insights directly from a major industry executive

  • A full suite of panels and presentations that look at each of the railcar segments: Tanks, Covered Hoppers, Flats, Box, Gondola & Open Top Hopper

  • An industry thought leader gives you their perspective on how the market is shaping up



Click on the agenda titles below to view session descriptions.

Friday, September 16th

6:30 AM - Indy Canal Run/Walk

Meet in the Crowne Plaza lobby. Start your day off right with a 3 or 5-mile run, or a 2-mile walk down the Indy canal. A great time to enjoy the beauty of Indianapolis and engage with your colleagues. Participants also receive a complimentary running shirt.

8:45 AM - Welcome
9:00 AM - The Railcar Manufacturing Landscape

A fireside chat with Trinity Rail’s Eric Marchetto about the railcar manufacturing space. We will discuss where the industry is today and where it is headed over the coming years. Then, Eric will talk about what car types he has his eye on that could be surprising.

Eric Marchetto, TrinityRail
Eric Starks, FTR

9:45 AM - Rail’s Next Peak: FTR’s Expectations for the Next Manufacturing Boom

This session will provide an outlook on the specific railcar types and what is most likely to happen from a build rate and retirement perspective as the industry works toward its next peak. The session will also include a discussion of the risk factors FTR is watching that could alter the industry’s trajectory.

Todd Tranausky, FTR

10:15 AM - Networking Break
10:30 AM - Tank Cars: The Future for Flammable Liquids and Other Commodities

This panel will look at flammable liquids tank cars as well as other non-hazardous material freight that moves in tank cars to provide a picture of what the year ahead might look like.

Jay Carter, The Greenbrier Companies

Todd Tranausy, FTR

11:00 AM - Box Cars: How Long Will the Good Times Roll?

Boxcars should have strong deliveries for the next few years after recent strong order activity. But what happens after that and what freight types will underpin demand going beyond the current boom.

Ben Elpers, KBX Rail
Jerry Vest, TTX

Todd Tranausky, FTR

11:30 AM - Wall Street’s Take on Equipment: What Analysts Are Watching

A leading Wall Street analyst will discuss how Wall Street views the rail equipment industry and what the financial sector is watching over the next few quarters.

Matt Elkott, Cowen

12:00 PM - Lunch
1:00 PM - The Leasing Perspective: How Do Things Look Going Forward?

A leading railcar leasing executive provides his take on the industry and what metrics matter from a leasing perspective over the next few quarters. We’ll also discuss the risk factors that could dramatically alter the calculus.

Kevin Cook, Mitsui Rail
Eric Starks, FTR

1:30 PM - Steel Market Dynamics: A Discussion of Raw Materials Pricing

Steel is one of the major input prices that drive the cost of new railcars. This session will look at the metals markets and try to provide attendees a sense of where the market will go after holding at high levels for the last 18 months.

Coming soon! Please check back for updates.

2:00 PM - Gondolas and Open-Tops: Can Coal be Overcome?

Gondolas and open-top hoppers are a tale of two car types. Gondolas have been buoyed by the robust metals market of the last two years while coal has acted as an anchor for open-top hoppers. This panel will explore the two related, yet different car types and their differing futures.

John Carr, Dairyland Power Cooperative
Bob Pickel, National Steel Car

Todd Tranausky, FTR

2:30 PM - Networking Break
2:45 PM - Flat Cars: Growth Delayed, Not Denied

Growth in the flat car market faces near-term headwinds as automotive and intermodal volumes struggle. Eventually, these commodity sectors should see demand recover and their railcar needs increase. But the exact timing of that recovery and its flow-through to railcars is murky. This panel of experts will provide insights into the outlook.

David Nahass, Railroad Financial Corp. 

Todd Tranausky, FTR

3:15 PM - Covered Hoppers: Will Rebuilds Change the Calculus?

There are sustained demand drivers in the grain and plastic pellet/resin markets that should allow for robust orders and deliveries. But rebuilds of excess cars into more in-demand car types could dilute the demand fundamentals for new equipment demand. Our panel will explore this potential phenomenon and more.

Tyler Dickman, GATX

Todd Tranausky, FTR

Rail Equipment Speakers

Rail Equipment agenda

Download the Rail Equipment agenda in PDF.

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Rail Equipment Speakers

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Todd is FTR’s Vice President of Rail and Intermodal, joining the firm in January 2018. In that role, he oversees and participates in the firm’s forecasting and production of all its rail and intermodal products, including within the rail equipment space. He previously was Argus’ North American transportation editor, responsible for overseeing the quality of Argus’ existing transportation reports and leading the company’s new product development in this area.

Todd Tranausky FTR Transportation Intelligence

Eric is Chairman & CEO of FTR, the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting.
Having spent his entire career in the freight transportation sector, he is a leading researcher in freight modal share analysis and forecasting. His background includes research in both rail and truck freight movements and asset equipment purchases. He is one of the premier industry forecasters on transportation equipment demand for rail cars, commercial trucks, and trailers.  

Eric Starks FTR Transporation Intelligence

Jon is the Chief Intelligence Officer at FTR. He has spent his entire career in the freight transportation sector having joined FTR in 2001. Jon's expertise includes freight modeling, modal analysis, fleet characteristics, and equipment demand. He is directly responsible for producing FTR's Freight-cast transportation model, producing more than 13 million data points and 85,000 forecasted items each month.

Jonathan Starks FTR Transportation Intelligence

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