NAFCA has been the public policy voice for private railcar builders, owners, lessors, and lessees for more than 30 years. Our primary goal is to protect the interests of the manufacturers, owners, lessors, and lessees of private railcars. By doing so we seek to educate the public and lawmakers regarding operational, regulatory, economic, and legal matters that affect private cars and private car owners and lessees.
Railcar owners are being forced to pay more and more of the costs for maintenance items the benefits of which are going to the carriers. In response, we work diligently to secure reasonable, equitable and lawful practices and rules affecting the use, repair, operation and principles of compensation for all private cars. To accomplish these objectives, we work with carriers, regulators, and Congress to identify areas where we can work together to find ways to improve the safe operation of private rail equipment and protect the rights of private car owners and lessees. When we are not able to reach a compromise, NAFCA will not hesitate to take the lead in litigating to protect the interests of private car owners and lessees.
Since enactment of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, railroads have increasingly incentivized shippers to provide their own railcar equipment as the railroads focused their investments on locomotives, infrastructure, and increasing profits. Today, private railcars make up the majority of the national railcar fleet. Railroads currently supply less than one-third of all hopper railcars used for agricultural commodities, chemicals and plastics, and no tank railcars whatsoever. The majority of all coal railcars are privately owned as well.
The maturation of the privately owned railcar industry has resulted in an extensive shift of financial risk where private car owners are dependent upon a series of compensation regimes to ensure an adequate supply of cars to meet demand. The rise of these mechanisms and the attendant issues inherent in this system have given rise to the need for strong, collective private car owner representation, a role proudly filled since 1993 by NAFCA.
NAFCA’s members are committed to promoting the safe, efficient, and economical use of private railcars. NAFCA’s primary goal is to secure the establishment and maintenance of reasonable, equitable and lawful practices and rules affecting the use, repair, and operation of private railcars, as well as appropriate principles of compensation for all private railcars. Our work has focused on areas where we can fashion industry solutions to improve the safe operation of private railcar equipment while protecting the interests of our members.
NAFCA conducts a regular dialogue with railroads operating through the Association of American Railroads and has successfully negotiated many issues on behalf of its members with the railroads.
Over the course of its 30-year existence, NAFCA has reached negotiated solutions to numerous issues with the railroads, either through constructive discussions or litigation in the event those discussions have not been successful.