Honda Boosts Rail Transport Fleet

Honda Boosts Rail Transport Fleet

Honda plans to take advantage of rail service to ship more than 80 percent of its Honda and Acura cars across the U.S., the automaker said Thursday.

The company has deployed 400 Auto-Max railcars across the U.S., with each capable of holding up to 22 vehicles. The multi-level railcars can also transport trucks while the average bi-level railcar holds 10 trucks. Honda took part in designing Auto-Max with its Greenbrier, its manufacturer.

“Honda is adopting a holistic approach to minimizing its greenhouse gas emissions, addressing not only the production and on-road use of our products, but also new, more fuel-efficient strategies for how we transport our products to dealers,” said Dennis Manns, assistant vice president of sales and logistics planning for American Honda Motor Co.

The railcars also will last a lot longer than conventional railcars: Typical railcars must undergo a major overhaul after 20 years while the Auto-Max will last about 50 years.

The company also pumped millions into its transport infrastructure. A $7 million redesign of its rail infrastructure at two Ohio plants allows the company to ship more units by rail because of additional capacity and faster train speeds.