Load Engineering and Design Services

CSX moves all types of freight and equipment safely and efficiently. Whether you're shipping paper, food products or heavy-duty machinery, you can be assured that your cargo is safe and secure with CSX.

Our Load Engineering and Design specialists will help you design loading patterns to protect your product from potential damage while getting the most out of your rail car capacity. When preparing to ship with CSX, contact LEADS to ensure that your product will be loaded safely and efficiently.

Opening and Closing Box Car Doors

CSX works hard to provide cars to customers that are in good working order. You can help! Watch this short video to learn how to prevent damage to box cars by properly opening and closing doors without forklifts or boom trucks. Watch video (WMV)
Closed Car Info/Circular 42-K General Rules - Loading Carload Shipments in Closed Cars (PDF)

Pamphlet 1 – Handling, Stowing & Bracing Merchandise in Closed Cars, Trailers & Containers (PDF)


Loading Methods

For the safety of your employees and the protection of your product, CSX strongly encourages you to use the most current AAR-tested and approved loading, blocking and bracing methods.


Open-Top Loading


Proper Balancing of Hopper Cars (PDF)


Safety Bulletin: Scrap Metal Loading (PDF)

     AAR Loading Figure 87, Section 2 Scrap, Metal, Loose and Baled - Gondolas (PDF)


Safety Bulletin: Packaged Lumber Products (PDF)

     AAR Loading Figure 54 Section 5 Lumber, Packaged, 8FT Long or Over - Center A-Frame (PDF)


Safety Bulletin: Balanced Coal Car Loading


Safety Bulletin: Cable Securement on Centerbeam Railcars (PDF)


Safety Bulletin: Scrap Mill Roll Loading (DOC)


Safety Message for CSX Log Customers: CSXT and the rail industry have experienced serious load failures involving cypress short wood loaded on slope deck pulpwood rail cars. For this reason, CSXT will not accept for rail transportation cypress wood loaded on these types of cars. The Association of American Railroads Open Top Loading Rules Committee has not approved cypress loading according to figure 11-C of section 5 of the Open Top Loading Rules manual.

All exterior logs on top, bottom, and sides of load must extend a minimum of 2 feet beyond inside edge of side stakes. Exterior side logs must not be loaded above side stakes. Logs may be pyramided from the outside toward the center of the load and crowned no more than 8 inches above the top of the side stake. Exterior logs must contact at least 2 side stakes, crossmembers, and/or bearing pieces.

    Load Adjustment and Transfer Assistance

    To ensure safety compliance inside CSX facilities and/or the protection of your product, the link below contains contractors who are insured and safety certified for operating on CSX property. These contractors are able to assist with load adjustments, transfers and reductions.

    CSX Approved Contractor List (Excel)
    Load Engineering and Design Services Contact Map (PDF)

    Automotive Customers

    CSX is an industry leader in providing quality transport of finished vehicles in North America. Our Automotive Damage Prevention Team partners with automotive manufacturers to provide a comprehensive solution to their shipment needs. CSX utilizes 3rd party inspection contractors to identify and document any transportation related damage concerns. CSX is then able to use the exception data for quality analytics. Our analytical approach allows CSX to proactively address quality concerns through root cause analysis, corrective countermeasures and targeted damage prevention initiatives including vehicle distribution center audits, in-transit railcar A-deck inspections and on-site training for loading and unloading contractors physically handling the vehicles.

    CSX supports automotive industry initiatives by participating in the Multi-Level Pooling Executive Committee (MPEC), the task force on Vehicle and Equipment Quality (VEQ) and Specially Equipped Freight Car Committee (SEFCC). 

    A comprehensive collection of information related to automotive finished vehicle handling and recommended practices can be found at:

    Contact Us

    For loading design assistance, contact:

    Related Links