Optimal Railcar Check List

Need to find the optimal railcar for your product needs? Let us help! We will work closely with you to determine the best configured railcar for your purposes. Begin the process by considering the following questions:

General Information
  • What is your product and product grade (e.g. technical or food grade)?
    By providing us a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), we will have a better understanding of your product and associated transport needs.
  • What is your product’s weight/ bulk density per cubic foot?
    This will help us determine the optimal cubic capacity.
  • If you already have railcars in this product service, what type and size railcar have you already used?
  • Will your railcar be routed on a railroad that allows a gross weight on rail to 286,000 lbs.? Keep in mind that some rail lines continue to limit gross rail weight to 263,000 lbs.
For Covered Hopper Cars
  • What type of loading and unloading operation is in place?
    This information will help determine the appropriate type of loading hatch covers and gate doors in a gravity unloaded system or whether a pressure differential hopper car closed loop system would be a better choice.
  • Do you do have stringent quality requirements and/ or a corrosive product that would require an interior lined railcar?
For Tank Cars
  • How do you plan to load and unload your commodity? 
  • Do you need a gauging device to determine how much product is loaded?
  • Is your product corrosive?
  • Is your product hazardous, or regulated?
  • Do you plan on loading more than one commodity? 
  • Does the car need to be equipped for food grade specifications? 
For Open Top Hopper Cars/ Gondolas
  • Does your product need dunning or bracing (cross bars, restraining devices or troughs) to stabilize the load?
  • What type of unloading will be needed, i.e., top unloading or rotary dumping capability?
  • Do you know the slope sheet angles needed in the railcar to provide for quick unloading?
For Flat Cars
  • What is the size of the product that you are transporting? Do you have a variety of product sizes?
  • Does your product need bracing, restraining devices, bulkheads, etc. to stabilize the load?
Your Chicago Freight Car Representative will provide you with professional support, helping to match your product needs with the appropriate equipment solutions.