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History: The first Airslide covered hopper was introduced by General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) in 1953 and had a capacity of 2600 cubic feet. The Airslide is primarily designed for the bulk shipment of dry, granular or powdered commodities. The design of that car is such that it can be loaded and unloaded quickly and with little spillage through the use of air pressure. The most common commodities carried include: flour, sugar, starch, plastic pellets, cement, powdered chemicals and carbon black.
Due to customer demand for larger covered hoppers capable of handling bulk commodities, General American Transportation Corporation introduced the larger 4180 c.f. model in 1963. GATX produced more than 5,000 of the 4180 cubic foot Airslide covered hoppers between 1963 and 1980. These very common cars continued General American’s “Airslide” family innovations from the 1950s, and proved valuable to bulk shippers who wanted a larger car than the earlier-design 2600 cubic foot cars provided.
GATX Corporation is divided into four business segments: Rail North America, Rail International, American Steamship Company (ASC), and Portfolio Management. Portfolio Management consists largely of the corporation's non-rail and non-Great Lakes assets.
GATX is one of several major North American rail operating lessors, and measured by fleet size, ranks as number two in this market behind GE Rail Services. Other major North American rail operating lessors include CIT, First Union, Union Tank Car Company, Trinity Industries Leasing, ARL, and Helm Financial.
GATX derives its name from its primary reporting mark for its North American railcars, "GATX". The mark itself was derived from GATX's prior corporate name, "General American Transportation". Since all non-railroad owners of railcars must append an "X" to the end of their mark, GAT became GATX. GATX mainly applies the GATX mark to tank cars, although the mark has been used in other examples such as with hoppers; GATX's primary freightcar marks are GACX (for general-service freight cars), GGPX (for coal cars), GIMX (for intermodal cars), GPLX (for plastic pellet cars), GMTX and LLPX (for locomotives), and GPFX (for pressure-differential cars). GATX also owns a number of other marks, including GABX, GAEX, GFSX, GOHX, GSCX, IPSX, and TRIX. Many GATX cars carry a large "GATX" logo in the upper right-hand corner of the car regardless of the reporting mark they carry; this logo is applied for marketing reasons and does not have any operational significance.
The General American Transportation Corporation became GATX Rail Corporation, a unit of the GATX Corporation, on January 1, 2000.
GATX engages in both full-service and net leasing of railcars. In a full-service lease, a GATX-owned mark is applied to the car, and GATX maintains the railcar and pays for any required property insurance and property taxes. In a net lease, the lessee applies its mark to the car, and the lessee pays for any required property insurance and property taxes. Often, on a net-leased car, there is no evidence of GATX ownership, although some net lease cars carry a GATX logo.
The most common type of car in the GATX North American fleet is the tank car; other major car types include covered hoppers, open-top hoppers, and gondolas. GATX invests in nearly every type of railcar operated in North America. In Europe, tank cars also make up GATX's largest fleet, but unlike in North America, GATX's European fleet includes substantial quantities of intermodal cars which are owned in a GATX joint venture called AAE Cargo. In contrast, GATX's North American intermodal car fleet is relatively small. This is true of most North American operating lessors; historically the bulk of the industry's intermodal investment has been made by TTX Corporation, which is jointly owned by North America's Class I railroads.
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Item created by: gdm on 2018-02-19 08:47:59. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-19 08:52:25
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