Infinity's focus on maintaining a fleet of older railcars in many car types helps meet the demand driven to a large degree by the inability of local and regional railroad track infrastructure to support newer, heavier railcars. Class I railroads have invested $525 billion in infrastructure and equipment since 1980 and have upgraded to high-speed tracks designed to support 286,000-pound railcars. Local and regional railroads, however, have not kept pace with these upgrades since in many cases the investment cannot be justified economically. As a result, demand for older equipment on these lines is often much different from demand for such equipment on the major rail lines.
The U.S. freight railroad industry is an indispensable part of the country's transportation system and serves nearly every industrial, wholesale, retail and resource-based sector of the economy. Together, the freight railroads form an integrated system consisting of 138,565 miles of track that is, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, the most efficient, cost effective and safest in the world.
Rail is well-suited for bulk commodity transport as it is four times more fuel efficient than truck for delivering freight over long distances. In 2012, U.S. railroads moved a ton of freight an average of 476 miles per gallon of fuel, an increase of more than 100% since 1980. Since a single train is able to carry the goods of up to 500 trucks, moving freight by rail instead of by truck cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and reduces highway gridlock.