With one of the most competitive ethanol franchises in North America, BNSF has the ability to access more than 6 billion gallons of the ethanol in the United States and deliver to all major population centers.

BNSF moves ethanol from production facilities (predominantly located in the Corn Belt) to fuel blending locations throughout North America. Always flexible, BNSF can provide products that work in any given market - including single car service, trains from multiple origins to a single destination, trains from single origins to multiple destinations, unit trains, and combined commodity trains.

To keep you competitive, BNSF will work with you to design products and services that will place your company in a winning market position for the long term. We offer:

  • The largest transportation franchise for ethanol in the United States amongst all modes - Largest market share.
  • Competitive rates and shipments vs. trucks and barges for short-distance movements.
  • Ability to help customers capture spot price in volatile markets.

Browse the tabs below for more details on shipping ethanol with BNSF.

Tools and content that have a lock icon  next to them require a login id in order to access. If you do not have your login id, register now and get immediate access.

To obtain a rate for ethanol, you can use BNSF's online pricing tools or contact a market manager below.

Pricing Contacts

Area Name Contact
Tel: 817-867-6035
Fax: 817-352-7933

Tel: 817-867-6713
Fax: 817-352-7933

Pricing Tools and Resources

BNSF provides superior customer service and support through our dedicated team of shipping experts and our well-maintained fleet that meets the weight and size needs of the industry. With access to most major ethanol production and consumption areas 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 transit times for ethanol shipped using our single car services.
  • BNSF provides service for ethanol 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.
  • Customers desiring to ship in unit train service must comply with the Unit Train Operating Guidelines. Please note, in order to take advantage of our Unit Train service, you must own or lease your equipment.

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!

Tank Cars

Tank Car

Tank Car Overview from Wikipedia

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
  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

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Ethanol Updates 

Sign up for BNSF Customer Updates to receive information regarding:

  • Service advisories: Temporary changes to service, including derailments, weather and holiday interruptions.
  • Network overviews: Information on the overall BNSF network and regional maintenance of way projects.
  • Facility updates: Information related to specific facilities.
  • Marketing news: New service or product offerings or permanent changes to existing service.
  • Web updates: Information about new or changes to existing Web-enabled tools at
  • Pricing updates : Changes to existing private or public price authorities for both intermodal and carload traffic.
  • Customer letters: Customer letters are sent via U.S. Mail from various Marketing groups on a variety of marketing and service-related topics.
Area Name Contact
Tel: 817-867-6035
Fax: 817-352-7933

Tel: 817-867-6713
Fax: 817-352-7933
Customer Tools

Our new Customized Rate Profile tool enables you to create, save and run rate reports for the commodities you ship the most and the shipping lanes you most frequently use.

Also, all customers now have to log in to access pricing tools and information. If you do not have your login ID, please register on using our new expedited registration process. Once registered, you will have instant access to pricing information

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