Over Age Car Policy

Union Pacific has developed an Over Age Car policy in accordance with the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Over Age Car guidelines. Please reference the Union Pacific policy and AAR guidelines below.

Union Pacific Over Age Car Policy

Union Pacific Mechanical Department has set the following policy for cars over 40 years of age, built prior to July 1974, which do not have an AAR Rule 88 Rebuild or Extended Life Status:

  1. Cars will not be accepted as part of an interchange with other railroads except in the following situations:
    1. Cars making a one time move for the purpose of getting the car to a scrapping facility.
    2. Cars making a one time move for the purpose of unloading a commodity for which the only receiver is on the Union Pacific Railroad.
    3. Cars making a one time move to a shop for the purpose of performing an AAR Rule 88 Rebuild or Rule 88 Extended Service recertification, where the only shop that can do that work is on the Union Pacific Railroad.
  2. Union Pacific Mechanical Department requires the following information be provided when making a one time move:
    1. Car Initial
    2. Car Number
    3. Whether the car is loaded or empty
    4. Car route, including (1) point of interchange and final destination for a scrap car, or (2) the destination and final point of interchange to a railroad, other than the Union Pacific, for a loaded car unloading on the Union Pacific Railroad or the destination and final point of interchange with a shop for the purpose of extending the life.
    5. Verification that mechanical inspection has been completed by the offering carrier and the car has been found to be free of AAR and FRA defects, especially the trucks, draft systems, brake systems and safety appliances.  The inspecting railroad is to notify, in writing, the Union Pacific Railroad with the results of that inspection.
  3. System Freight Cars over age may be continued in service (1) provided they are not offered for interchange service, (2) car condition is assessed by the UP Mechanical Department and found to be mechanically sound, and (3) are utilized under the following conditions:
    1. Revenue cars will be captive to the Union Pacific Railroad.
    2. Non-revenue cars for use in the transportation of Company materials.
    3. Cars will be reviewed by the UP Mechanical Department on an annual basis for scrap candidates.
    4. The proponent asking to keep the cars in service must justify doing so on an annual basis and will be asked to present a plan for replacement.  As requested, the UP Mechanical Department will assist in developing a replacement car strategy.
    5. All cars over 50 years of age are for transportation of Company materials only.
  4. Foreign or Private Cars over age
    1. Union Pacific may grant a one time move to the destination of the owner's choice provided the UP Mechanical Department inspection shows no AAR or FRA defects. 
    2. When the car cannot be moved, due to AAR or FRA defects or other safety concerns, and the owner wants to get the car back, then the car may be loaded on other equipment and moved, at the owner's expense, to a destination provide by the owner. 
    3. The owner will be responsible for acquiring the transport equipment and hiring a contractor to load and secure the load in accordance with the AAR Open Top Loading Rules.

Union Pacific Mechanical Department Contacts

For additional information or to initiate a one time move of an over age car, please contact the Union Pacific Mechanical Department.

David Tuma
Systems Coordinator
Phone:  402-544-4223
Send e-mail
David Schmidt
Senior Director Freight Car Engineering
Phone:  402-544-4424
Send e-mail
Rex Beck
General Manager Freight Car
Phone:  402-544-4228
Send e-mail

Association of American Railroads Over Age Car Guidelines

According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), when cars are 40 years old, built prior to 1974, they are no longer allowed for "Free Interchange" service.  They may be handled between participating railroads on an exception basis or must go through a recertification program per AAR Rule 88 Rebuild or AAR Rule 88 Extended Service Status (reference the AAR Office Manual Rule 88 for the explanation of the requirements for the recertification programs).  The recertification must be approved by the AAR Equipment Engineering Committee.

Cars built from July 1974 to present or cars which have received an AAR Rule 88 Rebuild or AAR Rule 88 Extended Service Status may continue in interchange service to 50 years of age.  After these cars reach the 50 years of age they may be handled between participating railroads by agreement of all railroads concerned.