Westward Q Trains

Q trains haul mostly JB Hunt, Schneider, and Swift containers in double stack well cars. They rarely have trailers from other trucking companies. See the Z trains for a list of truck companies. Occasionally containers from JB Hunt, Schneider, and Swift will be loaded onto spine cars but that does not make these Z trains. On the surface these trains may all look the same but there are subtle differences. Matson, CH Robinson, COFC, and APL Logistics 53ft containers will also appear in these trains, but these appear to be quite random and not an indicator for any particular symbol. One spotting feature for some LAC trains is domestic 53ft containers sitting on top of marine containers and this will be noted in the descriptions. When a description says some, it means that the train had a few of these types of containers or trailers, but not enough to raise the average above 0.5. Following the symbol train description is a pie chart showing the proportions of domestic containers or trailers within each train. This should make it much easier to identify trains by the cars in the consist. Don't expect the same type of container or trailer to be the same color in all of the charts.

The following companies ship domestic 53ft containers via BNSF on the Transcon. Following the company name is the number of containers in that companies fleet as of the end of 2016, if available. APL Logistics 1,000, Axsun, CH Robinson 1,000, COFC 800, CSX 4,000, FedEx 1,800, JB Hunt 85,000, Matson 400, NFI, Pacer 10,000, Schneider 17,000, Swift 9,000, Universal 800, UPS 5,700. Pacer containers are moving into a lease fleet with Pacer being painted out. Some of these Pacer lease containers are showing up on the BNSF. There are about 150 raildecks or flatracks in use across the country. These look like a flatbed trailer frame but have braced stanchions to support a container that could be stacked on top of it. They primarily haul structural steel. Due to their low numbers you don't see raildecks very often.

Here are the main intermodal terminal codes:
ALT Alliance, TX (north of Fort Worth)
ATG Atlanta, GA
AUG Austell, (near Atlanta) GA
CHI Chicago, IL
CLO Clovis, NM
CXO & NWH CSX North Baltimore, OH
LAC Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, CA
MEM Memphis TN
NYC New York
PEA Pearland, (near Houston) TX
PHX Phoenix, AZ
RIC Richmond, (near Oakland) CA
SBD San Bernardino, CA
STL Saint Louis, MO
STO Stockton, CA

Following the symbol is the rough schedule time when the train is scheduled through Clovis (C), Gallup (G), Flagstaff (F) and Barstow (B) in military time, so 1300 is 1 PM. Delays tend to accumulate and most of the westbound Q trains always seem to be running late. The further east the originating terminal is, the greater the chance for delays. But all is not lost. Trains originating at Clovis varied from 3 hours late to 2 and a half hours early for the QCLOLAC and the QCLORIC varied from 18 hours late to over 24 hours ahead. The QCLORIC is generally running ahead of schedule.

QALTLAC1 C 1500, G 0600, F 1300, B 0200 It averaged 66 JB Hunt, 16 Schneider, 22 Swift, 9 CH Robinson, 1 CSX, 3 Matson 53, 21 domestic boxes on marine boxes, occasionally some UPS boxes, plain white vans, ABF vans, or other truck company vans. Marine containers were generally toward the front and varied from 5 to 90 with the average at 34 per train. Toward the rear may be a few spine cars. Generally these may have a few truck trailers and some JB Hunt containers. The average train was 70-3:4888T 6942ft with a 0.70 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. About one train in 10 had empty wells, that is why the three empties in the average. The average performance was one hour and 35 minutes late.

QALTLAC1 pie chart

QALTRIC6 C 2300, G 0900, F 1500, B 0200 It only runs a couple times a week. It averaged 27 JB Hunt, 5 Schneider, 5 Swift, and 1 FedEx box, in the Stockton block. At the end of the Stockton block may be a few spine cars with domestic containers, 1 ABF van, 1 Amazon van, 1 Marten van, 1 Stevens, 3 YRC vans, occasionally some CH Robinson, FedEx vans, plain white vans, Alliance, or R&L vans. Following the Stockton block will be a block of marine containers for the Port of Oakland. These averaged 81 per train and were mostly CMA CGM, OOCL, and lease containers. On the rear will be a block of around 12 autoracks for Richmond. The train may also handle a block of empty wells for either Stockton or Oakland. The average train was 72-2:4475T 6775ft with a 0.66 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 or sometimes 2 units. The average performance was over 10 hours late.

QALTRIC6 pie chart

QALTSBD6 It averaged 125 JB Hunt, 15 Schneider, 26 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 6 FedEx boxes, occasionally some Amazon boxes, or Walmart boxes. An interesting feature on some of the trains is that all of the FedEx containers were usually on the top tier. The average train was 65-3:5030T 6494ft with a 0.77 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. One train did have 1 COSCO container, but in general this train is all domestic containers. About one train in 10 had empty wells, that is why the three empties in the average. The average performance was 12 and a half hours late.

QALTSBD6 pie chart

QATGLAC6 C 0330 G 1900, F 0130, B 1400 It averaged 74 JB Hunt, 20 Schneider, 13 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 4 CSX, 1 Matson 53, 1 UPS box, 1 UPS van, 20 domestic boxes on marine boxes, occasionally some FedEx boxes, plain white vans, Estes vans, Marten vans, Prime, YRC vans, or other truck company vans. Marine containers varied from none to 59 with the average at 27 per train. Domestic 53 ft containers were placed on 40ft marine containers about 22 times on average. One train had a 3+2 configuration of power with the DPU placed about 2/3rds of the way back instead of on the rear. Generally power is 2 or 3 units. One train had 11 truck trailers, most had none. About half the trains had empty wells returning west, so trains averaged 67-8:5168T 6983ft with a 0.74 tons per linear foot ratio. The average performance was over 15 hours late.

QATGLAC6 pie chart

QAUGLAC6 C 1500, G 0630, F 1300, B 0330 It averaged 172 JB Hunt, 12 Swift, 1 domestic box on a marine box, occasionally some Schneider, CH Robinson, CSX, or Matson 53 containers. For a long time there were no marine containers on these trains. However, recently marine containers have started showing up on these trains. The few trains that I've seen with marine containers varied between six and 14. The average train was 74-0:5805T 7096ft with a 0.82 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. The average performance was 17 and a half hours late.

QAUGLAC6 pie chart

QCHIPHX6 C 0400, G 1630, F 2300 It averaged 88 JB Hunt, 52 Schneider, 14 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, 1 Matson 53, 3 autoracks, occasionally some UPS boxes. The Schneider containers were often grouped together. The group was either near the front, on the rear, or split into two groups, one near the front the other near the rear. Some trains will have spine cars, but these generally carry domestic containers. I think this train operates thru Flagstaff Tues-Fri. One train of the 8 trains logged had a group of 27 autoracks on the rear. The average train was 61-0:4886T 5829ft with a 0.84 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. The average performance was 7 hours and 13 minutes late.

QCHIPHX6 pie chart

QCHISBD6 C 1201, G 0030, F 0600 B 1800 It averaged 132 JB Hunt, 36 Schneider, 14 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, occasionally some Matson 53, or UPS boxes. Occasionally on the lower tier it had a raildeck with structural steel. The average train was 81-0:6741T 7702ft with a 0.88 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. The average performance was just over 9 hours late. Consist is nearly the same as the QCHISBD7.

QCHISBD7 C 2330, G 1230, F 1900, B 0630 It averaged 133 JB Hunt, 39 Schneider, 14 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, 1 Matson 53, occasionally some UPS boxes, FedEx boxes, or plain white vans. This is a second section to the QCHISBD6 and is almost identical. Only saw one raildeck with pipe on one of the trains. The average train was 80-0:6602T 7549ft with a 0.87 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Another spotting feature is Twin Logistics containers. So far they seem to be only on QCHISBD6 and 7 westbound and QSBDCHI7 eastbound. The average performance was 9 and a half hours late.

QCHISBD6 pie chart

QCHISTO6 C 1700, G 0600, F 1159, B 2330 It averaged 133 JB Hunt, 28 Schneider, 9 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, 6 CSX, 4 Matson 53, occasionally some plain white, or old Schneider vans. An interesting feature is around 4 20ft Agmark tanktainers on each train. I think these are handling chemicals for spraying crops. The average train was 75-0:6215T 7112ft with a 0.87 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Occasionally the train wiil have a few empty wells. The average performance was just under 9 hours late.

QCHISTO6 pie chart

QCLOLAC1 runs occasionally, sometimes on this schedule C 1700 G 0400, F 1201, B 2359. It averaged 45 JB Hunt, 11 Schneider, 3 Swift, 2 CSX, 6 UPS boxes, 6 UPS vans, 1 plain white van, 1 Estes van, 1 other truck company van, 34 domestic boxes on marine boxes, occasionally some CH Robinson, Matson 53, or ABF vans. The average train was 64-3:4667T 6256ftt with a 0.75 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Some trains have empty wells, that is why the three empties in the average. The average performance was just under 12 hours late.

QCLOLAC1 pie chart

QCLORIC1 C 1830, G 1000, F 1530, B 0130 Half of the trains logged had a block of 20 to 55 wells with domestic containers at the front. The domestic containers averaged 23 JB Hunt, 18 Schneider, 3 Swift, occasionally some CH Robinson, Matson 53, R&L, UPS vans, plain white vans, or Estes vans. All but one of the trains had a block of marine containers. The marine block for Oakland varied from none to 129, with the average at 42 boxes. Unlike LAC trains, there were no 53ft domestic containers stacked on marine containers. The domestic and marine containers are going to different terminals. Six of the 8 trains logged had autoracks on the rear. The number of autoracks varied from as many as 86 (no domestic containers on that one and not included in average) to as few as 8, with the average at 27 on those six. The average train was 65-0:4605T 5974ft with a 0.77 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. The average performance was 4 hours and 43 minutes late.

QCLORIC1 pie chart

QCXOLAC1 C 1230 if run on Sat or Sun, G 2330, F 0500, B 1730 or C 2200 if run on other days, G 1130, F 1700, B 0530 and QNWHLAC6 C 0100 G 1430, F 2000, B 0800. The NWH symbol from northwest Ohio started on October 30, 2018. CXO averaged 64 marine containers, 131 JB Hunt, 40 Schneider, 4 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, 7 CSX, and occasionally some Matson 53, while the NWH averaged 51 JB Hunt, 88 Schneider, 2 Swift, 4 CH Robinson, 11 CSX, 1 Matson 53, and 68 marine containers. The NWH trains often have one or two large groups of Schneider containers near the front. The average number of domestic 53ft containers sitting on top of marine containers was 32 on the CXO and 44 on the NWH. The average CXO train was 96-1:7107T 8973ft with a 0.79 tons per linear foot ratio and the average NWH train was 97-0:7423T 9134ftt with a 0.81 tons per linear foot ratio. Power was generally 4 units. Sometimes the QCXOLAC1 will have empty wells, that is why the one empty in the average. The average performance for QCXOLAC1 was 8 hours and 13 minutes late and for QNWHLAC6 was 4 hours and 48 minutes late.

QCXOLAC1 pie chart QNWHLAC6 pie chart

QLPCLAC6 C 1330 Su,Mo,We,Th,Fr G 0200, F 0800, B 1800 is a mixed domestic and marine stack train with many 53ft domestic on marine containers. The domestic container average was 129 JB Hunt, 22 Schneider, 8 Swift, 3 CH Robinson, 8 CSX, 1 Matson 53, and occasionally some plain white vans. Marine containers varied from none to 106 with the average at 60 per train. Domestic containers were placed on marine containers about 40 times on average. The average train was 96-0:7900T 8993ft with a 0.88 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. The average performance was a little over 7 hours late.

QLPCLAC6 pie chart

QLPKLAC1 runs occasionally. It had some marine boxes, and averaged 33 JB Hunt, 8 Schneider, 1 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, 2 UPS boxes, 6 FedEx boxes, 1 UPS van, 4 FedEx vans, 24 plain white vans, 11 other truck company vans, 2 domestic boxes on marine boxes. The average train was 59-11:4189T 6559ft with a 0.64 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. One train out of six will have empty wells. The average performance was 2 hours and 23 minutes late.

QLPKLAC1 pie chart

QMEMLAC6 C 1000, G 0100, F 0600, B 1400 runs occasionally. It had some marine boxes, and averaged 84 JB Hunt, 24 Schneider, 18 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 2 FedEx boxes, 1 Walmart box, 14 domestic boxes on marine boxes, occasionally a Matson 53. The average train was 74-5:6428T 7483ftt with a 0.86 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. One train out of four will have empty wells. The average performance was 17 and a half hours late.

QMEMLAC6 pie chart

QMEMRIC6 C 0930, G 0001, F 1230, B 2100 is a mixed domestic and marine (most common were OOCL and CMA CGM) stack train with many 53ft domestic on 40ft marine containers. The domestic average was 84 JB Hunt, 19 Schneider, 4 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 2 Matson 53, and occasionally some UPS boxes for the Stockton block. On the rear was the Oakland block of marine containers. Marine containers varied from 30 to 60 with the average at 41 per train. Two of the 10 trains logged had around 18 autoracks on the rear making those trains look just like the QCLORIC. The average train was 64-0:5252T 5965ft with a 0.88 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 or sometimes 2 units. The average performance was almost 18 hours late.

QMEMRIC6 pie chart

QNYCLAC6 C 1300, G 0200, F 0730, B 1900 It averaged 173 JB Hunt, 1 Schneider, 6 Swift, 1 Matson 53, occasionally some CH Robinson, CSX, or UPS boxes. Marine containers varied from 11 to 42 with the average at 23 per train. Domestic 53 ft containers placed on 40ft marine containers varied from 1 to 18 with an average of 10 per train. The average train was 70-1:5394T 6570ft with a 0.82 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. Sometimes it will have empty wells, that is why the one empty in the average. The average performance was 14 and a half hours late.

QNYCLAC6 pie chart

QPEALAC1 C 0930, G 0030, F 0700, B 2100 is a mixed domestic and marine stack train with many 53ft domestic on 40ft marine containers. The domestic container average was 74 JB Hunt, 18 Schneider, 27 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 4 UPS boxes, occasionally some CSX, Matson 53, FedEx boxes, UPS vans, ABF vans, or Estes vans. The number of tanktainers varied from none to 18 20ft tanktainers and none to 3 40ft tanktainers in a train. Marine containers varied from 11 to 52 with the average at 33 per train. Domestic 53ft containers were on top of marine containers varied from 3 to 17 with an average of 8 in each train. The average train was 66-2:4814T 6371ft with a 0.76 tons per linear foot ratio. Trains usually had 3 units. About one train in 10 had empty wells. The average performance was 5 hours and 48 minutes late.

QPEALAC1 pie chart

Revised 2-10-2020 with data collected during 2019

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