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AAR Loading Rules in Effect for Packaged Lumber Products

Effective Oct. 1, 2006, new Association of American Railroads (AAR) Loading Rules for Packaged Lumber Products are in effect.

In recent years, bulkhead flat cars 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-9681and c-9767 announced the application 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 circulars also authorized the use of transportation-type package wrap as an acceptable substitute.

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

The compression package band method shown in the attachments listed below is now the only acceptable method to prevent telescoping.

Compression band application for Figure 54 (PDF)
Compression block on car for Figure 54 (PDF)

CSX will strictly enforce these changes in order to protect our employees, our customers and the communities we serve. 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 requirements, contact CSX Load Engineering & Design Services at 800-327-9715, ext. 6378, or e-mail Evan_Scott@CSX.com.