Private Equipment - BNSF

Private 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. Scroll down 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

See the OT-5 Frequently Asked Questions.

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