Oversize Load Conditions

  • From Model Railroader magazine, July 2008: oversized loads may be moved in regular freight trains or in special trains. A special train is normally required when a dimensional load meets any of the following conditions:


    - Overall width exceeds 13 feet;

    - multiple-car load over 135 feet long;

    - overhanging load exceeds effective width of 13'6" on a curve;

    - load has a speed restriction due to its extreme weight per axle, as determined by the railroad's engineering department;

    - center of gravity 110.1" or greater above the rail;

    - load has less than 4.5" clearance above the rail;

    - any loaded car that incorporates the load into the car's structure for transportation;

    - loads moving against the current of traffic on multiple track lines, to avoid clearance impediments along the normal track;

    - load or equipment is restricted to 40 mph or less;

    - crew has to stop & walk ahead to check extremely close clearances along the route.


    Trains handling dimensional loads are usually restricted to 45 mph or less.


    A photo accompanying the article showed a special train in 1991 consisting of a BN GP40-2, an idler flat car, the loaded 12-axle heavy-duty flat with the load, another idler flat, a business car for the accompanying engineering staff, and a caboose for the train crew.

1 comment
  • Mark Charles
    Mark Charles This must be amazing if you happen to see such a move.
    June 6, 2013