In order to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the delivery of new automobiles, Honda has launched a 400-car fleet of new Auto-Max railcars to carry its products from factory to city. Currently, Honda transports 82 percent of its Honda and Acura cars by rail, more than another other automaker.
The new, multi-level rail cars hold up to 22 vehicles, both cars and trucks, to reduce unused space. Honda says conventional rail cars hold only 10 trucks.
The Auto-Max railcars are designed to last 50 years, compared to the 20 year lifespan of standard railcars. Honda says the new transport system results in a more fuel-efficient method of getting their cars to dealers.
In addition to the new transporters, Honda invested nearly $7 million in the redesign of the rail infrastructure at their two plants in Ohio. As a result, more units can be shipped by rail from more efficient rail yard operations at the plants. That, says Honda, reduces CO2 emissions and other air pollutants discharged by switch and road locomotives that are often left idling.
The new railcars are the result of a participation between Honda and Greenbrier Companies, which is the exclusive manufacturer of the Auto-Max railcar. Greenbrier is located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and builds, repairs, refurbishes and leases freight railcars in North America.