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To: BNSF Lumber and Panel Customers

Winter Loading Practices go into Effect

BNSF's Open Top Loading Rules require that shippers of lumber on flatcars and bulkhead flatcars comply with certain loading practices during the winter months to ensure the safe and secure movement of shipments during that time. These practices help guarantee that loads will not slide or shift laterally during transit.

This year, the period of time covered by these rules is November 1, 2006, through April 15, 2007. The required changes to your loading procedures during this period are as follows:

      All ice and snow is to be removed from railcar decks prior to placement and prior to securing the bearing pieces. This is for all loads regardless of car type and securement.
        All flatcar and bulkhead flatcar loads of lumber and panel products not secured to the car with banding, cable, chains or web straps must include stub stakes and guide rails as an added protection to counter the adverse effects of snow and ice on the restraint systems. Specifically, this applies to shipments loaded per the AAR Open Top Loading Rules Manual, Section 5, Figures 32, 58, 58A, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 110, 111, and 112.
        If you have questions, contact your local BNSF Mechanical Department or Gerry Palazzolo, Manager Open Top Loading at 817-352-1454 or email

        If you have any questions, please send an email to