Equipment

BNSF strives to provide our customers with clean, well maintained equipment. We do this in cooperation with our customers who load and unload this equipment and whose products we transport.

BNSF and Association of American Railroads (AAR) rules stipulate that all product, dunnage or strapping material or anything not originally part of the railcar be removed upon release of the car after unloading. We ask that should any piece of equipment be inadequate or in need of repair, report this equipment to our car management personnel at 888-428-2673 opt.4, opt.4. Cars may be reported as clean and damage-free upon release with the use of Certified Clean section of the Switch and Release program on BNSF.

Through cooperation we will always have the best equipment available to our customers to load. If you have more questions about our equipment, see our frequently asked questions .

Boxcars

Boxcars

Forest Products, Consumer Products, Bagged Ag. Products, Beverages, Canned Goods, Bagged Flour, Metal Products

Refrigerated Boxcar

Refrigerated Boxcar

 

Perishable Products, Frozen Meat, Fish, Vegetables

Steel Service Gondola

Gondola Cars

Scrap metal, Steel plate, Structural steel, Mineral ores, Granite slabs, and other bulky products

Covered Hopper

Covered HoppersGrain, Sugar, Flour, Fertilizer, Clay, Sand, Cement, Glass, Ores

Open Top Hoppers 

Open Top HoppersTaconite, Metallurgical Coal, Coke, Clay, Bauxite

Coil Steel Railcar

Coil Steel CarCoiled Steel    

 Pipe Flatcars

Pipe Flatcars

Pipe

Bulkhead Flatcar

Bulkhead Flatcar

Steel beams and Pipe

 

 Centerbeam Flatcar

Centerbeam Flatcar

Lumber products and Wallboard

 

Chain Tie-Down Flatcar

Machinery Flatcar

Machinery

 Covered Coil Railcar

Covered Coil Car

Coiled Steel

 

Auto-Rack Bi-Level

Auto-Rack Bi-Level

Automobiles

 Auto-Rack Tri-Level

Auto-Rack Tri-Level

Automobiles

 Auto-Max

AutoMax

Automobiles

 Containers

Container

Container

Trailers

Trailer

Trailers

Temp. Controlled Trailers

Temperature Controlled Trailer

Perishable Products, Frozen Meat, Fish, Vegetables

Coal Cars

Coal Cars

Thermal Coal

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.
OT-5 FAQs
  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.

SAFETY IS BNSF'S MAIN PRIORITY

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: Rail Network 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

 

Foreign Marked Equipment Guidelines

Foreign marked equipment is defined as equipment having reporting marks of a non-BNSF controlled railroad or equipment that contains non-private marks. Private marks are defined as equipment initials ending with an X, with the exception of TTX owned/controlled equipment.

  • Request for assignment of foreign marked equipment should be in accordance of Car Service Rule 16. Requests should be made to your BNSF representative.
  • BNSF reserves the right not to use foreign marked equipment when BNSF controlled equipment is available. If no agreement exist with customers/controlling entities to utilize foreign marked cars, BNSF may refuse to place non-BNSF marked equipment for loading and may return them to the railroad whose marks are stenciled on the cars.
  • Prior to securing foreign 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.

 

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.