Transport Canada is investing in research areas and enforcing new regulations to enable the Government of Canada fulfil its commitment in reducing the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This research was supported in part by Transport Canada’s Clean Rail Academic Grant Program to develop and apply new technologies that can reduce the weight of railcars, which lead to reduction in GHG emissions in the Canadian rail sector. A piece cut from a decommissioned hopper railcar was determined to be a low-carbon steel with experimentally determined mechanical properties through a series of metallographic, tensile, and hardness tests. A 6.4% potential weight reduction in the structural weight of a hopper railcar was achieved by using aramid/epoxy, fabricated using vacuum-assisted resin transfer moulding, as a substitute material for the low-carbon steel in the sidewalls. Structural analysis was to insure a safe design that meets the requirements set by the Association of American Railroads.