After 18 months of construction, ‘the world’s largest rail car’ is leaving New Castle for South Carolina.

What is being called “the world’s largest rail car,” manufactured in Lawrence County, is about to make its maiden trip.

Constructed by employees of Kasgro Rail Corp. in Taylor Township, the car is 251 feet long and has 36 axles.

Kasgro builds most of the heavy duty rail cars in the United States, said Mark Zeigler, director of quality control for the firm.

However, this one exceeds the others in size by far.

It took about 18 months to build and is slightly larger than a similar car manufactured in Germany in 1980 by the Krupp Corp., Zeigler said.

“We’re the only ones who built one this big in the United States.”

The car was manufactured for Westinghouse Nuclear, which will use it to transport parts for nuclear reactors, Zeigler said.

It is now on its way to the port of Charleston, S.C., where it will receive parts from overseas.

New Castle Industrial Railroad, located off Moravia Street, picked up the car this morning along with the Krupp’s car and seven others, company owner Dale Berkley said.

The cars were taken to Norfolk Southern in Mahoningtown, which is transporting them to Charleston.

Zeigler said the trip may take a week or two. Because of the size of the car, the train will be able to travel only about 25 mph, he said.

Both the Kasgro and Krupp cars are referred to as Schnabel cars after the German word for beak. The two ends of the car are said to resemble a bird’s beak.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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