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Merchandise Equipment

Browse Merchandise Equipment

Norfolk Southern offers five types of cars for shipment of commodities.

Boxcars (other than automotive)


Boxcars offer enclosed transport for major commodities such as paper, lumber, rubber, general merchandise, clay, beverages, canned goods, and plywood. They feature plug doors, which open with a hand crank, or sliding doors, which may require opening with a forklift.

Boxcar loading and unloading practices - Video

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Coil Cars


Coil cars are gondola freight cars with a lading trough, cradle, or lading anchors and can be covered or uncovered to transport rolled coiled steel or rolled coiled aluminum.

Flat Cars


Flat cars feature a flat floor or deck lid on the underframe and have no sides or roof. They transport commodities requiring no protection from the weather.



Gondolas have low sides and ends with a solid floor and no roof and transport materials such as iron, steel, and coal that require no protection from the weather. Some gondolas feature higher sides for light commodities or are made of aluminum for coal service.



Open-top hoppers handle bulk commodities such as aggregate, coal, or wood chips and feature floor sheets that slope from the car sides and ends to form a series of hoppers that when opened discharge lading by gravity. Covered hoppers have a permanent roof for transporting cement, grain, and other bulk commodities requiring protection from weather.

Hopper types: aggregate | coal | wood chip

Hoppers are available in four sizes: small cube | medium cube | jumbo | pressure differential

For more information, please call 1-800-635-5768, and select Option 5 for Equipment Planning.