Planning Your Shipment

Planning consists of 3 steps:

  1. Requesting Clearance
  2. Obtaining a Rate
  3. Securing your Load and Shipment
1. Request Clearance

CSX has a dedicated Machinery Team to provide clearance support, customer service, sales and marketing for handling all types of machinery in a safe and reliable manner. Shipping large or dimensional loads requires specialized expertise and additional focus on special handling.

When do you need to request dimensional/clearance handling?

A clearance request is needed when an open top load shipment is any one of the following: 

  • More than 11 feet high
  • More than 10' 8" wide
  • More than 60 feet long
  • If any part of the load overhangs the sides or ends of the loaded car
  • Shorter than 18 feet long and weighs more than 140,000 pounds
  • Heavier than 150,000 pounds
  • Value greater than $1,000,000

If so, special clearance handling is required. Learn more

*These conditions apply only to CSXT. Other railroads may have different definitions of a dimensional load.

Does your shipment fit into one or more of the criteria?

If so, we will need more information about your shipment. All dimensional shipments must receive clearance from CSX. Please complete a Clearance Request, which includes STCC, weight, dimensions, center of gravity, car type and additional drawings or photographs to begin the process of determining the feasibility of the movement.

ShipCSX> Resources > Clearance Bureau> Clearance Request  (ShipCSX Log-In Required)

If you are not a current CSX customer, please contact

When your load is approved, we will send you a CSXT clearance file number.

2. Obtain a Rate

Once your load is approved, you can get a price for shipping it. Submit a request to Please copy your assigned Account Manager on all communications.

Rate requests submitted outside of an established Clearance File # (Cxxxx-C-xxx) response will be treated as “budgetary” in nature and not available for formal offer or publication until a Clearance File # response is received. These rates may serve as high-level guidance but do not represent a rate offer.

Public rates are available in CSXT 4606 for general machinery and power generation/wind energy equipment.

The rates can be found on ShipCSX using the Price Look-Up Tool.  Log-In Required.

If your dimensional load is longer than 18 feet and weighs more than 190,000 lbs., or is shorter than 18 feet and weighs more than 140,000 lbs., request a heavy-duty flat car.

If you need a standard rail car, Log in to ShipCSX and use the Car Order tool. Learn more.

3. Load and Securement

The purpose of our Load Engineering & Design Team is to assist you in safely securing your dimensional load to rail. If you are not familiar with proper loading procedures and/or car components required for proposed load to include tie down requirements, deck type, please contact Manager of Load Engineering and Design Services.

AAR Open Top Loading Rules

Load Engineering:

What goes into a Clearance Response?
  • Pre-work
  • Teamwork
  • Tools

The Clearance Bureau has a clearance measuring vehicle that travels throughout our network to build a comprehensive database of clearance data. It takes measurements of bridges and other obstructions to assist our clearance team in finding the best route for a dimensional load. This data allows us to quickly and accurately respond to clearance requests.

We analyze our bridges with Cooper Ratings to ensure safe movements of multiple types of bridges, making it safe for the load and the general public.

Accurate database of plate and weight restrictions throughout our network. At a glance, you are able to determine the weight restrictions through particular CSX corridors.

Clearance Maps

Our dedicated team is devoted to problem solving and finding safe yet efficient routes and methods to move oversized shipments.

─    Kirk Blomgren - Manager Clearance         
─    Bud Morris - Clearance Specialist (New Proposals)    
─    Jowell Olson -  Clearance (Managing Live Loads)
─    Erin Boyle - Clearance (Managing Live Loads/Weight Restrictions) – Comments or Inquiries about clearance proposal – Tracking & tracing live dimensional shipments

Clearance Bureau Portal on ShipCSX allows you to manage all your clearance requests in your CSX queue. You are able to see status of your requests at a glance, one-click to view a request, generate reports, receive immediate email confirmation of submissions and receive detailed information to other questions you may have regarding your dimensional load. You are also able to request heavy duty cars, special trains and view clearance maps.

We have portable laser measurement tools throughout the network to positively verify loaded dimensions prior to moving the load at inspection. The clearance bureau receives a digital report then protects the shipment to move throughout the CSX network. If the measurements vary, the clearance bureau will work with you to quickly resolve the issue.


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