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To: BNSF Lumber Customers

New Association of American Railroads (AAR) Loading Rules for Packaged Lumber Products Effective October 6, 2006

In recent years, bulkhead flatcars equipped with center partitions and tie down cables or straps, have become the primary car of choice for shipment of forest products.

While these cars represent an improvement over previous loading methods, one problem has been the telescoping of lumber products from the top packages in the load adjacent to a void space when the top layer is not completely filled with packages. In 2003, Circular Letters
c-9681 and c-9767 authorized the use of either a fencing-type mesh, plastic or wire (e.g. poultry wire or snow fencing) over the void end of each package adjacent to the void.

These materials have proven to be ineffective in reducing telescoping of lumber products from the cars. Therefore, the Open Top Loading Rules Committee has voted to immediately eliminate the use of plastic snow fence, chicken wire mesh, and transportation-type package wrap as methods to prevent telescoping.

The compression package band method as shown in the links below is now the only acceptable method to prevent telescoping. Please see the attached diagrams for an explanation of the following:

      Compression band application for figure 54.pdf
      Compression block on car for figure 54.pdf
      BNSF will strictly enforce these changes in order to protect our employees. Failure to comply with these new load requirements will result in load adjustments at the expense of the shipper.

      If you have questions regarding these new requirements, please contact Gerry Palazzolo at 817-352-1454, or send an email to

      MN 09-29_AAR Compression Band Application for Figures 54  54A  54B.doc MN 09-29_AAR Compression block on car.ppt

      If you have any questions, please send an email to