Transportation equipment manufacturer Greenbrier has received new orders for 2,900 railcar units, valued at around $470m.

The orders have been secured for the supply of medium and large cube-covered hopper cars, automobile carrying cars, boxcars and tank cars.

The company has received orders for 32,400 new railcar units, valued at $3.44bn for the fiscal year 2015.

Greenbrier Companies chairman and CEO William Furman said: "Our diversified backlog of 41,300 units valued at $4.71bn as of August 31, 2015 is near all-time highs, giving us visibility well into 2016, 2017 and beyond.

"Our recent expansion into Brazil and Saudi Arabia extends our geographical reach into new international markets and further diversifies our business."

"Additionally, our recent expansion into Brazil and Saudi Arabia extends our geographical reach into new international markets and further diversifies our business.

"Production facilities now include major factories in Mexico to serve North America and Latin America; Brazil which can reach African and Latin American export markets; Poland for Europe, near-Asia, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East markets; as well as our flagship factory, Gunderson, in the US."

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By GlobalData

A recent order for 1,200 tank cars from the government-owned Saudi Railway Company (SAR) forms a major part of the total orders in the quarter.

The three types of tank cars will be used to transport sulphur and phosphoric acid from industrial mining operations of state-owned Ma’aden, and other companies in the Sirhan-Turaif region of northern Saudi Arabia.

The new tank cars for SAR will be built at the Greenbrier wholly-owned Wagony Swidnica subsidiary in Swidnica, Poland.

The work will be supervised by the company’s American team as the track dimensions in Saudi Arabia are identical to those in the US. The tank cars will be built to US standards, on production lines certified by the Association of American Railroads.

SAR is expected to take delivery of the first tank cars in the second half of 2016, while the remaining will be delivered in 2017 and 2018, depending on car type.

"Our entry into Saudi Arabia’s railcar market is a great honour and a great responsibility as we participate with the Kingdom in one of its premier economic development and engineering projects at Wa’ad al Shamal City," Furman added.

Greenbrier plans to open offices in Saudi Arabia and hire local engineers and technicians.