Age of Amtrak, Aircraft, and Maritime Vessel Fleets

Age of Amtrak, Aircraft, and Maritime Vessel Fleets

The average age of Amtrak locomotives and passenger train cars fluctuated in a narrow range for most of the 1990s (figure 92). The average age of locomotives was 11 years in 2000, down 7 percent from 12 years in 1990. Meanwhile, Amtrak railcar age dropped from 20 to 19 years over this period. Of the 20,028 Class I freight locomotives in service in 2000, 42 percent were built before 1980, 21 percent between 1980 and 1989, and 37 percent from 1990 onwards [1].

Overall, about 28 percent of the U.S. flag vessel fleet was 25 years old or more in 2000 (figure 93). This is up from 17 percent in 1990–1991.1 Towboats are some of the oldest types of vessels plying U.S. waters, and they are getting older: about 50 percent were 25 years old or older in 2000, up from 33 percent in 1990–1991. Tank and liquid barges older than 25 years made up 43 percent of the total fleet in 2000, up from 27 percent in 1990–1991 [2].

The average age of U.S. commercial aircraft was 13 years in 2000, up from 11 years in 1991 (figure 94). Commercial airlines are air carriers providing scheduled or nonscheduled passenger or freight service, including commuter and air taxi on-demand services. Major airlines—those with $1 billion or more in annual revenues—accounted for nearly 80 percent of commercial aircraft in 2000 [3]. These aircraft were approximately one year younger on average than all commercial aircraft during the 1990s. The average age of major airlines aircraft was 12 years in 2000, up from 11 years in 1991.

Sources

1. Association of American Railroads, Railroad Factbook 2001 (Washington, DC: 2002).

2. U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Transportation Statistics 2002 (Washington, DC: 20020, table 1-31, also available at http://www.bts.gov, as of January 2003.

3. Calculation based on U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41, Schedule B-43, 1991–2000.

1 These waterborne vessel data are normally surveyed as of December 31 each year. However, due to a system migration of the data in 1990, the annual survey was collected in June 1991, or half way between the dates when 1990 and 1991 data would otherwise have been collected.