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Are there any box cars left on modern rail? Living by a mainline BNSF, I see several trains a day, but can't remember when I last saw a boxcar. I see container cars, piggy backs, tank cars, grain cars and coal bins, with the occasional car haulers and flatbeds, but no box cars. Have they gone the way of the livestock and refrigerated cars.


Active Member
Boxcars are still being used, just not where you are seeing BunSNifF. Here's a bunch on a Los Angeles Junction Ry spur. It's one of their subsidiaries.


Well-Known Member
These are just as plentiful. Athearn, Walthers, just did a run of these recently. Exactrail did a run of the 50FT Rbox about a year ago.

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Well-Known Member
Still see lots of boxcars around here. It just depends on where and when you look. On the BNSF main line near me, Ft Worth to Oklahoma City (ex-ATSF), there's a couple of mixed freights a day in both directions. Boxcars make up about 35% of the consists on those trains. The line is however over 50% intermodal due to the Alliance intermodal terminal about 20 miles south. There are also a lot of unit grain trains, full going south for export, and empty going north. On the BNSF mainline that was next door to where I worked for years, Dallas to Sherman TX (ex-SLSF), the percentage was near 75% mixed freights with about the same 35% boxcars. No intermodal on that branch at all, the only unit trains were gravel trains and covered hoppers of plastic pellets.
Meanwhile the UP main line from Sherman to Ft Worth (ex-MKT) that I occasionally railfan at, has a small number of mixed freights with a lesser percentage of boxcars. It's mostly grain, coal and automobiles.
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Most of the trains I see are usually running the line between Kansas City (through Emporia, KS) and to Oklahoma City. It is interesting about the boxcars, but there just may not be the demand for them along that route. I will say, I don't watch the rails 24 x 7, so they may be sneaking some through when I'm not

I just haven't seen any on the trains that seem to pass through my area for quite some time. And since the floods up north, there seem to be more trains routed through.


Well-Known Member
Hi Patrick, I think you are right about it being all about your route. In my old city Cloquet there were numerous boxcars, as they were used in the large industry in town.

When I worked for the KYLE railroad, there was a TAMKO shingle plant at Phillipsburg, that we switched. They would get in box cars of sawdust, and would load 12 boxcars of shingles/tar paper a day. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to