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To: BNSF Metals Customers

Reminder: AAR Open Top Loading Rules For Scrap Metal

In a Marketing News on August 18, 2008, BNSF advised that the Association of American Railroads (AAR) had issued revisions to its Open Top Loading Rules, effective Wednesday, August 20, 2008. As a reminder, BNSF strictly enforces these rules to ensure the safety of our employees and customers.

Because of safety concerns due to loose scrap materials falling from gondola rail cars, Figure 87, Section 2 of the Open Top Loading Rules Manual restricts loose scrap metal to be loaded below the top of rail car sides and ends at any point of the load. This means that all scrap loading can be no higher than the top chord of gondolas (top of car side walls.) Light scrap requires securement, unless it is loaded 12 inches below the top chord of the car. Bundles also have specific loading and securement provisions. Please see the attached AAR Circular C-10796 for more information, including loading diagrams.

MN 09-04_AAR Open Top Loading rules - announcement.pdf

Any scrap load in a gondola car not meeting the open top loading requirements will be stopped and held. The shipper will be contacted and will be responsible for reducing the load to meet the revised standards, as well as for any expense associated with the handling and hauling away of scrap reduced from the car. This is similar to BNSF’s process used for cars that have been overloaded.

For questions relating to loading compliance please contact Gerry Palazzolo, Manager Open Top and Special Loads, at 817-352-1454.

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