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To: BNSF Customers

AAR Offers Free Online Open Top Loading Rules Manual Library

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has made the AAR Open Top Loading Rules Manualavailable as part of a free online library to review and download the book’s content. Open Top shippers can now visit the library site at and no longer need to log in with a subscription. With this online library, you can view selected volumes of the Manual as well as download the entire PDF of the book, individual documents and implemented circular letters.

The AAR Open Top Loading Rules Manual is updated weekly with any changes. Because BNSF is committed to keeping shipments safe, customers are required to comply with the AAR loading figures contained in the AAR Open Top Loading Rules Manual. We encourage customers to download and review the revised AAR rules to ensure they are in compliance with BNSF’s Loading Rules.

  • Carload customers: See BNSF Rules Book 6100-B, Item 3035. Click here to access.
  • Intermodal customers: See BNSF Intermodal Rules and Policies Guide, Item 9. Click here to access.

As a reminder, any incident caused by shipper failure to follow these rules will result in the shipper being responsible for making arrangements to correct the loading deficiencies. The shipper will also be financially responsible for the incident’s associated costs. BNSF can provide contact information for load adjustment contractors who have been certified in the AAR Open Top Loading Rules and who carry the mandatory insurance to work on BNSF property.

If you have questions regarding open top loading, please contact Scott VanGosen, BNSF LARS Sr. Manager Open Top Loads, at or 913-551-4614, or your local General Foreman, Mechanical.

Your business is important to us. Thank you again for choosing BNSF as your transportation service provider.

If you have any questions, please send an email to