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RMI Support Glossary of Terms


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"A" End of Car
The end opposite that on which the hand brake is mounted.

A.A.R. (Association of American Railroads)
The major trade association and legislative lobby for railroads.

Arrival Notice
A notice, furnished to consignee, of the arrival of freight.

Assigned Car
A railroad-owned or controlled car which has been placed in dedicated service to a specific customer.

Automobile Parts Car
A box car specially fitted for transporting automobile parts in racks without packing.

Automobile Rack Car
Flat car with steel racks for transporting fully assembled automobiles. Racks have either two or three levels, are equipped with tie-down devices, and are cushioned for vertical and horizontal shocks.

Average Agreement
An agreement in which a customer accrues credits and debits for demurrage charges. The customer is then billed monthly.



"B" End of Car
The end on which the hand brake is located.

Back Haul
1. To move a shipment back over part of the route which it has traveled. Usually the result of mishandling the car.
2. A marketing strategy to accrue revenue by acquiring loads for cars which normally would have to be returned to their home road as empties.

Bad Order
A defective car.

Belt Line
A railroad which generally only operates within or around a metropolitan area.

A two-level freight car used to transport automobiles or trucks.

Bill of Lading
Contract tendered to the railroad by a customer for transportation services authorized by a tariff. Used to prepare a waybill.

Billed Weight
The weight shown on a waybill and freight bill.

Billing Repair Card
The card furnished to the car owner when repair is done on a foreign car.

Blue Flag
A metal sign placed on a track or equipment which signifies that employees are working on, under, or between equipment on that track.

Box or Box Car
An enclosed rail car used for transporting lading which must be protected from the weather. Generally, the lading is packaged or palletized, but can be bulk.

Train service employee who assists with train and yard operations.

Bulkhead Flat
A flat car with adjustable bulkheads at each end of the car, used for shipment of wood, wallboard, etc.



C.O.F.C. (Container On Flat Car)
Description for unit (without a chassis - wheels) loaded flush on the deck of a flat car specifically designed to transport trailers/containers. (See also T.O.F.C.)

Car Distributor
An individual who is assigned the responsibility of distributing empty freight cars.

Car Hire
Rent paid to the equipment owner based on time (hours or days) and/or miles.

Car Hire Data Exchange (CHDX) process. Industry exchange of electronic car hire data.

Car Hire Accounting Rate Master. This is a data file of all car hire rates negotiated between equipment owners and the railroads using the equipment. This file was created as part of Deprescription.

Balance Due bills sent to railroads when car hire is not paid in full.

A yard where cars are grouped according to their destination and made ready for proper train movement.

Car Location Message (See Train 80).

Coal Car
A car for carrying coal; usually a hopper car.

Coil Steel Car
A gondola specially fitted to haul coil steel.

Combination Rate
A rate made by combining two or more rates published in different tariffs.

Commodity Rate
A rate applicable to a specific commodity between certain specified points.

Train service employee in charge of the train or yard crew.

Connecting Carrier
A railroad which has a direct physical connection with another or forming a connecting link between two or more railroads.

Persons or company to whom a shipment is destined.

A list (computer generated) of all of the cars in a train in standing order (from engine to caboose/marker).

Constructive Placement
When , due to some disability on the part of the consignor or consignee, a car cannot be placed for loading or unloading, it is considered as being under constructive placement and subject to demurrage rules and charges, the same as if were actually placed.

Current Car Hire
40 days after the last day of the service month, car hire reports must be mailed to the equipment owner.

Cushion Underframe
A term commodity used to designate the framework of a rail car designed to prevent the shocks and impact stresses from damaging the car structure or its lading.

1. To uncouple a car.
2. A group of cars coupled together.
3. That part of right-of-way which is excavated out of a hill or mountain instead of running up over or Bering tunneled through.



Data Exchange
A term applied to the electronic transfer of data from one computer to another.

A tariff application designed to limit the amount of time a customer has a car for lading or unloading. Includes a schedule of charges assessed against the customer when a car is held in excess of the allotted free time.

The rail industry process by which car hire rates are negotiated between equipment owners and railroads using the equipment.

1. Term applied to tariff charges applicable (in addition to regular demurrage) to certain cars.
2. Charges assessed for the use of a railroad owned or controlled trailer/container when off railroad property.

Term and charges applied to shipments that have their destination or consignee before being classified to their final destination, and provided the change does not require a backhaul.

Double Stack Train
A train of specially equipped flat cars on which containers are stacked in twos.



E.D.I. (Electronic Data Interchange)
A method of transmitting and receiving data from one computer to another. Currently used to exchange shipping instructions and billing with shippers.

E.D.I. 414
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) 414 Transaction Set. Used for CHDX.

E.O.T. (End of Train Telemetry Device)
A portable device attached to the rear coupler of a train that is capable of monitoring air pressure, motion and battery condition, then transmitting this information by radio signal to the locomotive cab where it is displayed. Also referred to as a sense and transmit (STU).

An order prohibiting the acceptance and/or handling of freight at certain points or via certain routes due to emergencies, congestion, strikes, etc.

The driver or operator of a locomotive.



F.A.K. (Freight All Kinds)
A term used to indicate that the lading of a trailer or container load is mixed.

F.R.A. (Federal Railway Administration)
Governmental agency assigned the responsibility of ensuring that all railroads comply with safe and statutory operating principles.

Flat Car
An open car without sides, ends or top, used principally for hauling lumber, heavy machinery, etc.

Flat Hump
Term used to indicate the switching of cars without the use of a hill or hump to assist the movement of cars.

Free Time
The time allowed by a rail carrier to customers to load or unload freight, after which demurrage and/or detention charges will accrue.

Freight Bill
A statement given to a customer identifying the charges assessed for transportation. Information is taken from waybill.

Freight Claims
Claims from shippers arising as a result of damage to or loss of commodities transported in rail service.



Grounded or Grounding
Term used to indicate that a trailer or container has been removed from a flat car.



Heavy Repair
Term used to indicate a car is in need of repairs requiring more than 51 man-hours to complete.

High and Wide Car
Car of excessive dimensions which must be handled with special care and attention to clearances.

Home Car
A car on the tracks of its owner.

Home Road
The owning road of a railroad car.

Home Route
The return route of a foreign empty car to the owning road.

An open top car with one or more pockets (hoppers) opening on the underside of the car to permit quick unloading of bulk commodities.

A man-made hill in a classification yard used to separate cars from each other by gravity.



See Interstate Commerce Commission.

Idler Car
An unloaded flat car or gondola used to protect over-hanging loads or used between cars loaded with long material.

In-Bond Shipment
An import or export shipment which has not been cleared by Federal customs officials.

Term used to indicate that a trailer or container has been brought into an intermodal site by a drayman.

Industrial Carrier
A short railroad owned or controlled by one or more of the principal industries served by it.

Industrial Interchange
Interchange of cars from one railroad to another which takes place within the confines of a customer’s plant.

The exchange of cars between railroads at specified junction points.

Interchange Point
The location where cars are transferred from one road to another.

Interchange Track
A track on which freight is delivered by one railroad to another.

Interline Freight
Freight moving from point of origin to destination over the lines of two or more railroads.

Interline Waybill
A waybill covering the movement of freight over two or more railroads.

Intermediate Carrier
A railroad over which a shipment moves but is neither the road of origin nor destination.

Term applied to traffic which combines both rail and another form of transportation, such as Trailvan or Flexi-Flo.

Inter-Plant Switch
The movement of a car from one industry to another industry.

Interstate Commerce Commission

Intra-Plant Switch
The movement of cars from one track or spot to another within the yard(s) of a single plant or industry.









Liability Continuity System (LCS). A process designed to correct interchange reportings and generate missing interchanges for car accounting purposes only. Will allow the equipment owners to be paid faster and with more accuracy.

Light Repair
A car with a defect requiring less than 50 man hours to repair.

The movement of freight over the tracks of a railroad from one town or city to another town or city (not a switching service).

Term used to describe a road train which performs industry switching.



M. O. W. (Maintenance of Way)
Department which repairs, replaces, and maintains Conrail’s tracks, structures and physical plant.






Open and Prepay
Publication which lists all the stations in the U.S., Mexico and Canada to which rail shipments can be made. It also indicates the railroad that switches each station and any limitations applying to service (e.g. Team Track only or height restrictions.)

A shipment for which the consignee must provide proof of payment (for the value of the contents) before the railroad will deliver the car. Proof of payment is either by surrendering the original bill of lading stamped by a bank or providing proof of a bond for 125% of the value of lading.

Term applied to indicate a trailer or container has been taken off of railroad property by a drayman.



Per Diem
A charge made by one transportation line against another for the use of its cars. The charge is based on a fixed rate per day.

Per Diem Reclaim
A method of recouping car hire charges.

The transportation of truck trailers and containers on railroad flat-cars.

Paper, plastic or metal forms (containing various designs, names or numbers) which are attached to the sides and ends of cars, trailers and containers when the lading is classified as hazardous

Pool Cars
Specially equipped cars of different ownerships assigned to a specific company or location.

A term denoting that transportation charges have been or are to be paid at the origin point of shipment.

Prior Adjustment
A manually produced debit or credit adjustment to car hire based on the information provided by a car hire claim sent to the using railroad by the equipment owner when car hire was not paid in full.






Special agreements or car hire rules that allow car hire to be charged to another company or railroad

R.W.C. - (Repetitive Waybill Code)
Code used to identify a waybill form stored in the computer containing data for a shipper or station which is used repetitively for shipments over a period of time.



S.T.C.C. - (Standard Transportation Commodity Code)
7-digit number which identifies a commodity by description. Used by all freight carriers.

Person or firm from whom shipment originates. Also called consignor.

Service Month
The calendar month during which car hire was earned. This is the month in which the equipment moved over the using railroad.

Term applied to structure where building and repairing railroad equipment is performed, e.g., cars, locomotives, etc.

To place a car in a designated position or specific location usually for loading or unloading such as at a warehouse door.

Standard Gage
A distance of 4 ft. 8 1/2 in. between the heads of the rails. See "Broad Gage", "Narrow Gage" and "Gage of Track".

Switch List
A list of freight cars in track standing order showing cars by initial, number, type of car and showing where cars are to be switched as required by local practice.

Switch Order
An order to move car from one place to another within switching limits.

The movement of cars from one place to another within a terminal, a yard, or an industry.

Switching Limits
A geographical area within a metropolitan district defined as a terminal. Traffic moved entirely within that area by rail carrier is entitled to a "switch delivery" rate and not a portion of the road haul.



Tare Weight
The weight of an empty freight car.

Transfer of Liability (TOL). A system implemented with Deprescription to transfer car hire liability to another railroad without disclosing confidential car hire rates.

Trackage Right
Right obtained by one railroad to operate its trains over the tracks of another railroad.

Train II
Name for the computerized system linking all AAR member railroads with the AAR computer and sharing data.

Train II Messages
TRAIN01 Report an interchange delivery or receipt
TRAIN02 Report equipment movements from any Car Service Region to another
TRAIN03 Report equipment movement events
TRAIN08 Report Bad Order hours, Switching TOL (Rule 5), & Unable to Deliver car TOL (Rule 15)
TRAIN28 TRAIN08 data is forwarded to equipment owner and connecting railroad
TRAIN31 Delete or correct Interchange reports. Report haulage interchanges.
TRAIN33 Delete or correct erroneous movement reports (TRAIN03)
TRAIN51 Identifies erroneous TRAIN01 interchange reportings
TRAIN52 Identifies erroneous TRAIN02 boundary crossing reportings
TRAIN53 Identifies erroneous TRAIN03 movement event reportings
TRAIN58 Identifies erroneous TRAIN08 TOL & bad order reportings
TRAIN61 LCS Junction report. Equipment owner is not receiving or delivering carrier
TRAIN62 LCS Junction report. Equipment owner is not receiving or delivering carrier
TRAIN63 LCS Junction report to company leasing equipment
TRAIN64 Interchange reportings from BRC or TRRA
TRAIN65 Interchange reported to the receiving carrier
TRAIN69 Liability Continuity System (LCS) official car hire interchange reported to the receiving and delivering carrier
TRAIN76 Equipment event reported to requesting party used to trace equipment
TRAIN80 Car Location Message (CLM) unedited event reports as they are received at Railinc are forwarded to requesting party



UMLER (Universal Machine Language Equipment Register)
This is the data file that has all freight equipment characteristics and specifications recorded for proper use of rail industry equipment. Prior to Deprescription, car hire rates were provided via this file.

Uniform Demurrage Rules
Schedules providing rules and charges for Demurrage which are, in general, used throughout the United States, having the approval of, but not prescribed by, the Interstate Commerce Commission.



Voluntary Adjustment
70 days after the end of the service month, a credit or debit adjustment can be made to the original current car hire payment. This is the last chance to make the car hire payments correct before penalties are incurred.



Data input of a customer’s commercial and transportation requirements used by the railroad to effect the movement of a car from origin to destination and to generate the freight bill.

Weight Agreement
An agreement between shipper and carrier, usually following a series of weighing tests, under which carrier agrees to accept shipper’s goods at certain agreed weights.






A system of tracks used for making up trains and storing cars, upon which movements may be made at Restricted Speed, subject to applicable rules and special instructions.



Z.T.S. - (Zone/Track/Spot)
Identification system used by many large railroads to represent yards, tracks and spots.