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Individual Railcar

Whether you’re shipping one carload or multiple carloads, BNSF’s individual railcar service offers you consistent, reliable and cost-effective service. Through this service, you can access the most efficient and fluid rail network in North America directly to/from your facility.

  • Excellent for multi-truck quantities of commodities such as canned goods, steel, lumber, paper, and more.
  • Easily fit three or more truckloads in a single railcar.

Our public pricing provides a level of transparency not available with other modes of transportation. We offer prices that are often a better value than alternative modes and providers of transportation.

To obtain a rate for individual railcar service, you can use BNSF's online pricing tool or contact a sales representative.

If you are interested in shipping agricultural products contact an Ag Products Representative.

A fuel surcharge is applicable on individual railcar shipments:

BNSF requires a completed and approved credit application prior to a shipment order.

With access to most major destinations in the Western United States and joint-line access to Eastern markets, we have the flexibility to get your goods where they need to go.

  • Review schedules for individual railcar service.
  • Customers desiring to ship in unit train service must comply with the Unit Train Operation Guidelines. Please note, in order to take advantage of our unit train service, you must own or lease your equipment.
  • BNSF provides service for steel products only on designated routes. Find out where BNSF ships.
  • Check to see if BNSF serves your destination using our switching guides.
  • Special exceptions exist for freight moving interline. Use our routing guides for moving freight to the CSX, Canadian Pacific, and Canadian National railroads.

Not Rail Served?

  • If you are not directly served by a railroad and need delivery by truck, consider using one of our premier transloaders or BNSF Logistics.
  • You can also work with our Economic Development team to establish or expand your next site. Talk to us today!

Please select equipment from the drop down.


Specifications Table Diagram 
Description Three decks with capacity to hold up to 24 vehicles of various sizes.

See all types of equipment.

Private Equipment Policy

The following section contains guidelines and information for the use of privately marked equipment in which BNSF is the origination line-haul carrier.

Private Equipment Guidelines

Private rail equipment must meet the Association of American Railroads' Circular OT-5 for Rules Governing the Assignment of Reporting Marks, Mechanical Designations, and Use. Privately marked equipment must obtain loading authority from the origin line-haul carrier and the equipment must be registered via the OT-5 process that is administered by Railinc. To register, you will need your CIF number, proper UMLER information and the car numbers to be registered. For more information, please visit Railinc's Loading Authority (OT-5) web site.

  1. Prior to securing privately marked equipment to be loaded at a location where BNSF is the origin line haul carrier, customers/controlling entities must discuss equipment options with their BNSF Sales representative.
  2. Private equipment controlling entities must submit an application for loading authority (OT-5) via the RailInc registration system. Applications must be approved prior to the privately marked equipment being moved for loading at BNSF line haul origin locations. Cars can be pre-approved via the RailInc registration system as well.
  3. BNSF may decline an OT-5 application for multiple reasons, including safety, mechanical factors or inadequate storage. Click here to see BNSF Mechanical requirements.
  4. Private equipment controlling entities are required to manage the flow (pipeline) of empty equipment moving to BNSF origin line haul locations or connecting carrier serving locations to preserve network fluidity.
  5. BNSF may require private equipment controlling entities to move equipment off-line at their expense to preserve network fluidity.
  6. Private equipment is subject to charges for equipment held for loading and unloading, and also equipment held for purposes other than loading or unloading.
  7. BNSF may terminate previously granted loading authority as a result of guidance of the AAR Interchange Rules, expiration date of lease connected to original OT-5 application, equipment becoming over age, inadequate storage, mechanical or safety issues.
  8. Click here to see OT-5 Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why is BNSF scrutinizing my OT-5 application?
    Managing evolving network and operating conditions requires BNSF to closely review all requests we receive to add new equipment to our system and determine, among other factors, what impact individual requests could have on network fluidity, capacity, service and velocity. We are also engaged in an effort to address existing non-compliance on BNSF and across the industry of the OT-5 registration process (unregistered cars).
  2. Once I have provided storage and mechanical information, what allows you to decline my application?
    BNSF considers multiple factors when reviewing OT-5 applications. Applications can be declined for reasons including: safety, mechanical, lack of verifiable track storage space, or a combination of resulting factors that these reasons may cause.
  3. How does BNSF define "adequate" or "inadequate" storage?
    BNSF evaluates whether adequate storage exists by reference to the details and context of each individual OT-5 application. This includes, among other factors, the storage location(s) proposed by the applicant, the storage location entity's ability to confirm the storage capability represented on the application, the type of cars on the application and their anticipated use on the BNSF network.
  4. How do I protest an OT-5 rejection?
    BNSF will provide an explanation for all OT-5 application rejections. If an application has been declined, the application can be re-submitted after all details provided in the rejection notice have been resolved to BNSF's satisfaction. Any question concerning rejected applications should be directed to your BNSF Sales representative.
  5. What if I don't register or apply for OT-5?
    Under AAR Circular OT-5, approval MUST be obtained from the loaded origin line-haul carrier prior to loading private cars. BNSF reserves the right to address non-registered cars on an individual basis.


The following is not all inclusive however equipment must comply with all of the following key Mechanical Requirements:

  1. All interchange freight car owners must subscribe to the AAR Interchange Rules and be listed in FindUs.Rail.
  2. Cars must comply with and be maintained, by the owner, per the AAR Office and Field Manual Rules.
  3. All AAR Field Manual Rules (Sections A.1 and A.2 defects along with any component obsolete or prohibited in interchange) must be repaired or replaced prior to placement of the cars on BNSF.
  4. All cars must have yellow FRA 224 compliant reflectorization with the application date registered in Umler (no grandfathered material allowed).
  5. Angle cocks located below the coupler as shown in AAR Field Manual Rule 5 Figure 14 are prohibited.
  6. Greater than 268,000 Pound Gross Rail Load Freight Cars of any car type must meet one of the following criteria:
    1. Cars are approved by the AAR per Specification S-286 or
    2. Cars are approved by the AAR per Specification S-259 and the following is met: Cars must be equipped with constant contact side bearings, preferably long travel.
    3. Cars must be registered with the proper Star Code.
  7. 286,000 Pound Gross Rail Load Freight Cars of any car type less than 44 feet 11 inches in overall length must have route specifically approved by BNSF due to bridge loading concerns. The following link can assist in route selections http://bnsf.com/customers/where-can-i-ship/maps/
  8. Flat Cars of any type and capacity must be equipped with constant contact side bearings. Long travel constant contact side bearings are preferred.
  9. Covered Hoppers must have outlet gates that seal completely. The sealing member must be maintained in good condition and not allow product to bypass the gaskets/seals and leak onto the ground. All gates must be of a positive lock design with security seal capability.
  10. Cars equipped with one or more rotary couplers must be equipped with anti-gravity locks on both ends.
  11. All Cars must meet AAR and FRA Safety Appliance Standards.
  12. Gondola, and bulkhead flat cars must be equipped with crossover platform and associated safety appliances on both ends.
  13. Bottom dump coal hopper cars equipped with door line air hose must have this hose in the "low" configuration as to not block the crossover platform.
  14. Tank cars must be equipped with a Group R "weather resistant" slack adjuster

Loading Origin Guarantees

Shippers have the ability to guarantee equipment supply through BNSF's Loading Origins Guarantee (LOGs) program. See more information on the LOGs program.

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Become a New BNSF Customer

Begin shipping with BNSF quickly and easily. We will need the following information to get you started with BNSF:

  • Commodities you will be shipping. Please use our STCC/Commodity Lookup tool for exact commodity information.
  • Origin and destination for your shipment.
  • Amount you will be shipping.
817-867-6223 or


Get a rate quickly with our easy online price lookup tool Carload Shipping Advisor 

Shipping Questions

Our Customer Support team will answer questions about your shipment, including billing, service, etc Customer Support
888-428-2673, option 4, 3
Our Equipment team will help answer your questions regarding equipment 888-428-2673, option 4, 4

Helpful Links

Quickly find out who is served by BNSF Serving Carrier Reciprocal Switch Inquiry Tool
Easily locate a transloader on BNSF network Premier Transloader Directory
Locate your new site near BNSF or have your existing site served by BNSF Economic Development
  • Try the new Carload Shipping Advisor Today
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  • Shipment Management on Smart Phones
  • Mexico Shipping
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  • BNSF Video Gallery
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  • Door to Door Transload

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