Section No. 1 General Rules (Rev.--9-1983)
Cards bearing advertisements or trademarks or banners must not be attached to cars, nor to permanent
stakes which are a part of tile car, nor to temporary stakes supplied by shipper solely for the purpose of carrying such
advertisements. They may,. however, be applied to the load or to temporary stakes used to secure load provided they
are safely secured to such stakes or lading. Paper or cloth banners or size requiring supporting frames, metal or wooden
banners with or without supporting frames, must be securely fastened by bolts, wires or bands.
Special authority must be procured by the shipper from the originating carrier for shipments of any
commodity on open top cars not covered by a specific figure in Sections 2 to 6 inclusive; also, for shipments of any
commodity unless covered by a specific figure in Sections 2 to 6 inclusive, when loaded on a well hole, depressed floor
or specially designed cars. Consistent loading of a commodity on a conventional or specially designed car places an
obligation on the shipper to request promptly, approval of a specific figure to cover. Originating carriers involved with
commodities consistently shipped have the responsibility of notifying the AAR Open Top Loading Rules Committee and
informing shipper they must submit appropriate proposal to cover new methods of loading. Consistent shipping is
defined as repetitive shipments secured in the same manner and made at the rate of one (1) shipment and/or more per
month, and or when it is expected that more than twenty-five (25) shipments will be secured in the same manner
regardless of the duration of time to originate the shipments.
Loading on specially equipped open top cars incorporating either integral or special tie-down securement,
unless covered by a specific figure in Sections 2 to 6 inclusive, is not covered by these rules insofar as securement
details are concerned; where not covered, the loads and securement must conform with General Rules 1 through 21.
Originating carrier and shipper must confer as to appropriate blocking and bracing methods for loads not
covered by a specific figure and consideration must be given to such details as the topography, distance traveled,
multiple track system, grades, curves, train speeds, etc., which the shipment will incur over its entire route from origin to
destination. When in the interchange of such shipments, exceptions are taken by receiving carrier to method of
securement, carriers participating in the movement of controversial shipment are to be contacted by receiving carrier in
an effort to resolve an acceptable method of loading the commodity in question. Where differences of opinion arise
between or among carriers which, they cannot resolve amongst themselves or with the assistance of local interchange
bureaus or similar associations, then the dissenting carrier may request the Chairman of the Open Top Loading Rules
Committee to appoint three neutral members of this committee, preferably from the same region over which the
controversial shipments will move, to decide which side of the dispute should be upheld, having full authority to render an
immediate decision after an on-the-ground investigation Is made at the originating point. In cases where this neutral
group decides that the existing loading method is adequate and safe, any intermediate or destination carrier would
thereafter have to make at its own expense any changes or additions pertaining to items of securement, which It might
deem necessary, upon receipt of such shipments on its line.
Gondola cars with removable roofs or hoods, without special load retaining fixtures, are subject to the
mandatory requirements of the Open Top Loading Rules.
The loading and bracing of ground servicing units, used with the various Missile Systems shipped by the
Department of Defense, because of the very specialized nature, are covered by individual drawings. When approval of
these methods of loading is acknowledged .jointly by the Department of Defense Subcommittee of the A.A.R.
Committee on Loading Rules and U.S. Army Transportation Engineering Agency, Military Traffic Management
Command, a letter of authorization, is issued by the Director, Rules and Inspection, of the A.A.R. Mechanical Division
which designates the drawing reference and unit classification. Copies of these drawings are maintained in a special file
in the office of the Secretary of the A.A.R. Mechanical Division and they ate also available at Department of Defense
military sites where these units are loaded.
Instructions New Submissions Experimental Loads.
These rules are based on many years of exacting studies and requirements, however the railroads stand
ready at all times to cooperate with the shippers for betterments. Suggestions made to the Director, Rules and
Inspection Mechanical Division, Association of American Railroads, American Railroads Building, 1920 L Street, N. W.,
Washington, D.C., 20036, will be given prompt attention.
Shippers of Department of Defense material desiring new revision of or additions to the present rules or
specifications must submit such proposals to the Military Traffic Management Command, Transportation Engineering
Agency, 12388 Warwick Boulevard, P.O. Box G2.2. Newport News, Virginia 23606, through the appropriate channels
for handling with the Mechanical Division of the Association of American Railroads.
Shippers desiring to deviate front the AAR Open Top Loading Rules or desiring approval of a method not
now covered by these rules, must submit to the Director, Rules and Inspection, Mechanical Division, Association of
American Railroads or the Chairman, Open Top Loading Rules Committee. twenty (20) drawings, size 1, in. x 22 in.,
giving plan, end and side views, with all items of securement identified with capital letters similar to drawings as presently
shown in the rules, also twenty (20) copies of specifications in similar form to those likewise contained in the Open Top
On receipt of any submission in the above form, the matter will be transmitted to the Open Top Loading
Rules Committee for their review and comments, after which the issuance of experimental load cards will be dependent
on the decisions rendered by this Committee.