The rail industry developed a modified rail car to accomodate the shipping of medium- and high-roof Ford Transit vans around North America, according to the automaker.
Ford worked closely with railroads and railcar manufacturers to develop the modified car to accommodate Transit vans that reach 110.1 inches tall for the high-roof version.
The modification involved elevating the rail car's inner deck, so it can house as many as seven medium- and high-roof Transit vans on the lower deck. Additionally, as many as seven smaller vehicles, like the Ford Fusion, can be loaded onto the shorter top deck. The overall height of the railcar remains the same as traditional railcars.
The innovation helped Ford to continue to ship Transit vans via rail rather than relying soley on truck transport to reduce delivery time and cost, according to Ford.
Ford is building the Transit vans at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo. Shipments traveling further than 500 miles will use the railway system.
Ford expects approximately 50 percent of Transit orders will be medium- and high-roof configurations.