For many people, the trusty boxcar is the image that comes to mind when they think of freight trains. The boxcar is a highly versatile railcar. It can carry packaged freight, whether it's bagged, boxed, crated or attached to pallets. Boxcars may look simple at first, but they come in many configurations. Unlike intermodal trains that go from hub to hub, a train made up of boxcars goes to the source. It will pull right up to a manufacturing facility's loading dock.


Boxcars are used to carry, among other things:

  • Bagged commodities, such as fertilizer, clay, potting soil, mulch, cement and flour
  • Forest products, including lumber, panel, wood pellets and paper
  • Beverages such as beer and wine
  • Canned goods
  • Metal products like copper, lead and aluminum
  • Building materials like shingles, bricks, insulation and siding
  • Vehicle parts

Lots of options

There's more to boxcars than meets the eye:

  • They come in many sizes, from 50 feet long to more than 70 feet.
  • Some have cushioned underframes and some are rigid.
  • Some have simple slide doors that are easy to open and close but aren't airtight. Others have plug doors, which slide into place and then sink into a tight seal.

Other types of boxcar

Variants of the boxcar can perform specific tasks.

  • Insulated boxcars have foam lining the ceiling, doors and walls and can be used to carry beer, wine and canned goods. We have the largest insulated boxcar fleet.
  • Refrigerated boxcars can carry produce or frozen foods. They can maintain temperatures as low as 80 degrees below zero. We constantly monitor and control the compartment thermostats in its refrigerator cars by satellite.
  • High cubic capacity or "high-cube" boxcars are taller than regular boxcars and have greater cubic and lading capacity than older boxcars.
Select more train cars below to explore.