Railroad freight cars are available in a wide range of styles, each specially designed to carry goods from industrial equipment and timber to oils and liquids.

Metalex’s line of Morton Rail Products — which includes brake steps, end platforms, side sheets, and running boards for rail cars — are used in freight transport of all kinds. Below, we explore some of the most common types of rail cars making use of Metalex components.


autorack rail car

Also known as autocarriers, autoracks or car transporters are built for large, bulky loads — specifically, automobiles and heavy equipment.

These heavy-duty rail cars use Morton manufactured Side sheets and Logo Panels with perforated metal that protect the freight from damage, dirt, and debris; the perforated metal acts as a shield while also allowing for ventilation during rail transport.

Tank Cars

tank car running board

Today’s tank cars often carry oil, ethanol, and other highly flammable and potentially dangerous liquids. To ensure optimal safety, both the U.S. Department of Transportation and Transport Canada have strengthened regulations for freight cars carrying these sensitive loads and thus thousands of existing tank cars are being retrofitted with additional steel jackets and new safety appliances.

In response, Metalex developed embossed retrofit straps to wrap around the circumference of out-of-regulation tank cars, creating a gap space to be used for insulation and thermal protection, as required by the new standards. Our Tread-Grip® and Deck Span® safety grating materials are used on tank cars to create safe walking surfaces around and above the car.  Tread-Grip® and Deck Span® offer superior safety surface and significant weight savings compared to traditional bar grating products.

Hopper Cars

covered hopper

These bulk transporters are ideal for loose loads: Coal, grain, sugar, and ore are all typically hauled in hopper cars. Because these freight cars feature a top-loading design, safe crossover boards are paramount. We recommend using Open-Grip® safety grating to prevent slips.

Custom Rail Components from Metalex

No matter what type of rail car you’re working with, Metalex can provide reliable components to ensure optimal quality, longevity, and safety. To learn more, check out our Rail Car Infographic or reach out to the team today.

rail car infographic

benefits of safety grating download

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