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.
Norfolk Southern offers five types of cars for shipment of commodities.
Boxcars (other than automotive)
Boxcar loading and unloading practices - Video
Video DownloadDownload MP4 189 MB
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 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.
For more information, please call 1-800-635-5768, and select Option 5 for Equipment Planning.