Loading the Greenbrier-Gunderson Multi-Max™ Autorack

Loading the Greenbrier-Gunderson Multi-Max™ Autorack
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Loading the Greenbrier-Gunderson Multi-Max™ Autorack

In 2013, Gunderson introduced the revolutionary "Multi-Max" design to safeguard automobiles and offer enhanced operational flexibility, as aging racks from the 60s and 70s approached the end of their usefulness. This cutting-edge design addressed the challenges faced by modern railroads and shippers. The traditional enclosed autorack protected vehicles from typical threats but fell short against the increasing menace of graffiti vandalism in the late 90s. Graffiti artists took advantage of the perforations in the side panels to spoil the finish of new autos. These perforations were necessary for light and ventilation during loading and unloading.

To counteract this issue, the Multi-Max design incorporated smaller, fewer, and more widely spaced perforations in its side panels, significantly reducing the risk of paint spray penetrating the cars. Another notable feature was the adjustable number of decks. "Bi-level" autoracks accommodated taller vehicles like SUVs or vans, while "tri-level" autoracks with an additional deck catered to standard or compact autos. In the past, railroads had to anticipate manufacturing plant traffic and order specific bi- or tri-level racks. If the production shifted between vehicle types, it could lead to an unsuitable surplus. However, Multi-Max allowed car shops to change the configuration from bi-level to tri-level or vice-versa, according to traffic patterns.

Since its introduction, the Gunderson Multi-Max has gained immense popularity, with thousands of units built for nearly all the Class One railroads. Unlike previous designs, many of these cars now boast vibrant color schemes and large logos, making them stand out in a train. With its increasing numbers and favor among shippers, the Gunderson Multi-Max seems poised to become the premier autorack design of the 2000s.

 

This video shows how to adjust decks between bi- and tri- configurations on the Multi-Max Autorack.