Z trains haul a mixture of JB Hunt, Schneider, and Swift containers in double stack well cars along with trailers from other trucking companies (a list appears below). One of the spotting features of Z trains is UPS and FedEx containers and trailers along with trucking company trailers. 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 Z trains just like they did on Q trains, but again these appear to be quite random and not an indicator for any particular train symbol. One spotting feature for LAC trains is domestic 53ft containers sitting on top of marine containers or a mix in the same double stack car.
The following trucking companies ship their trailers via BNSF on the Transcon: ABF, Alliance Shippers, Amazon, Averitt Express, Best Solution, Bold, CDN, Celadon, Central Transport, Clipper, Compass Lease, Dart, Estes, FFE, Freymiller, Global, Go2, Greif, Hercules, JKC, KLLM, Knight, Liv, Marten, McKinney, PGS 360, Polaris, Premier, Prime, R&L, Radiant, Roadrunner, RRM, Southern Refrigerated, Stevens, TemStar, Transport America, Transtar, TransWest, US Xpress, Vermont Rwy, Vision Express, Vitran, Walmart, Werner, Wheels, White Arrow, Xtra, and YRC (combination of Yellow and Roadway).
In the trailer count, I did not include containers from JB Hunt, Schneider, or Swift that were riding on spine cars as these containers are already included in the count of containers on double stack cars. I did count marine containers on chassis as these were not included in the count of containers on double stack cars. Trailers and containers from FedEx and UPS have their own separate counts.
Here are the main intermodal terminals codes:
ALT Alliance Yard (north of Fort Worth) TX
ATG Atlanta, GA
LAC Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, CA
LPK Logistics Park Kansas (near Gardener) KS
MEM Memphis, TN
NBY North Bay (near Richmond) CA
NYC Croxton, NJ near New York
PHX Phoenix, AZ
SBD San Bernardino, CA
STO Stockton, CA
WSP Willow Springs (west of Chicago) IL
Following the symbol is the rough schedule time when the train is scheduled to go through Barstow (B), Flagstaff (F), Gallup (G), and Clovis (C) in military time, so 1300 is 1 PM. Following the scheduled time will be an indication of how often that symbol was observed over a 20 day period and the power configurations. For example 7/20 4 units 6x 3 units 1x means that the train was seen and logged 7 times during the 20 day period. It had 4 units 6 times and 3 units once.
ZLACCHI7 B 1000 Thr-Sat, F 2000, G 0001, C 0700 I rarely see this train so haven't been able to compile a profile. For line-ups, I see that it generally has 4 units. Others have reported that it has from 5 to 19 wells of mostly JB Hunt containers and then piggyback trailers.
ZLACLPK9 B 1600 Tue, Wed, F 0100, G 0500, C 1300 This train started in August 2018 and is another lacking a profile. From line-ups I can tell that the train normally has 5 units and generally runs ahead of schedule.
ZLACMEM7 B 0200, F 1700, G 2100, C 0700 7/20 4 units 6x 3 units 1x averaged 88 JB Hunt, 17 Schneider, 7 Swift, and 2 FedEx containers. Along with domestic containers trains also had some marine containers. The trains averaged 8 53ft domestic containers on 40ft marine containers. It doesn't haul a lot of truck trailers averaging only 14 trailers per train. It sometimes had 2 40ft and 1 or 2 20ft tanktainers. No UPS on these trains. Most trains had the trailers at the rear, but one had them on the front. One spotting feature may be the occasional Transportation of Mississippi, Ozark, or Averitt trailers. This train is generally late by as much as 10 hours.
ZLACNYC7 B 1800 Tue F 0300, G 0700, C 1500 2/20 4 units 2x averaged 164 JB Hunt, 5 Swift containers along with 3 UPS vans and 24 truck trailers.
ZLACNYC9 0100 exWed 5/20 5 units 4x 4 units 1x averaged 32 JB Hunt, only a few Swift, and no Schneider containers. The train handles quite a bit of UPS traffic and averaged 29 UPS containers and 9 vans plus 5 FedEx containers and 12 FedEx vans. Quite a few of the JB Hunt, UPS, and FedEx containers were on spine cars mixed with an average of 37 truck trailers. Most trains had the trailers at the rear, but one had them on the front.
ZLACWSP8 B 0900 F 1800, G 2200, C 0700 13/20 5 units 10x 8 units 2x 4 units 1x. These trains primarily haul UPS traffic and averaged 30 UPS containers and 35 UPS vans, along with 61 truck trailers. Additional traffic was 2 JB Hunt, no Schneider, or Swift, and 1 or 2 FedEx vans. All of the performance data I have is from Arizona and it ran from a half hour ahead of schedule to an hour and a half late.
ZLACWSP9 B 1300 F 2200, G 0100, C 0900 7/20 5 units 6x 8 units 1x. This train primarily hauls UPS traffic and averaged 99 UPS containers and 41 UPS vans, along with 8 truck trailers. Additional traffic might be a few JB Hunt, or some FedEx vans. Performance varied from one hour ahead of schedule to one hour late.
ZNBYWSP9 B 1700, F 0300, G 0600, C 1400 9/20 5 units 7x 8 units 2x. One spotting feature of this train is the double stacks on the front will start with the first group of wells (4 to 12) with two UPS containers per well and then the second group (16 to 20 wells) will only have one UPS container per well. It will have another group of wells on the rear with 21 to 30 UPS containers. I think this is a setout for Kansas City. In between the front and rear groups of UPS containers will be domestic containers and truck trailers. It averaged 51 UPS containers and 8 UPS vans, along with 8 truck trailers. Additional traffic was 22 JB Hunt, 12 Schneider, 3 FedEx containers, and 1 or 2 Swift containers.
ZPHXWSP7 F 1600 Sat-Mon, G 1900, C 0400 6/20 power never seemed to be constant as Phoenix returned surplus locomotives: 8 units 1x 7 units 1x 6 units 1x 5 units 1x 4 units 1x and 3 units 1x. Traffic also fluctuates from 35 to 6 JB Hunt, 28 to 2 Schneider, 24 to 1 Swift, and 15 to 4 FedEx containers. UPS and trailers seemed to be the most steady averaging 18 UPS containers 5 UPS vans, and 26 truck trailers. This train appears to have stopped operating in late September and then restarted in November 2018. Traffic may have been handled by QPHXCHI1 or 3 during that time As I said, BNSF shuffles schedules almost daily.
ZPHXWSP9 F 1600 Tue,Wed,Fri, G 1900, C 0400 6/20 4 units 3x 5 units 2x 7 units 1x averaged 41 JB Hunt, 6 Schneider, 3 Swift, 18 UPS, and 5 FedEx containers with 10 UPS vans, 19 truck trailers, and an occasional FedEx van.
ZSBDALT9 B 1300 exTue, F 2100, G 0100, C 0900 ZSBDALT7 runs one hour later on Tue 7/20 4 units 5x 5 units 2x averaged 57 JB Hunt, 11 Schneider, 19 Swift, 20 FedEx containers with 2 UPS vans, 46 truck trailers and occasionally 8 FedEx vans. Performance of both trains varied from one to nine hour late.
ZSBDATG7 B 2200, F 1100, G 1500, C 0100 10/20 4 units 9x 3 units 1x averaged 104 JB Hunt, 40 Schneider, 23 Swift, and 16 FedEx containers with 12 truck trailers and occasionally 4 FedEx vans. Performance varied from nearly on time to four hours late.
ZSBDWSP6 B 0100 Mon-Fri, F 1201, G 1600, C 0200 10/20 4 units 9x 8 units 1x averaged 70 JB Hunt, 13 Schneider, 5 Swift, 9 FedEx containers with 61 truck trailers and occasionally some FedEx vans. Performance varied from two hour to ten hours late.
ZSBDWSP7 2300 Thr 1/20 I only observed this train once and it had 4 units 119 JB Hunt, 4 Schneider, 5 Swift containers, and 24 truck trailers. This train may have stopped operating in late September 2018.
ZSBDWSP8 B 0100 Sat,Sun, F 1201, G 1600, C 0200 3/20 5 units 3x averaged 36 JB Hunt, 7 Schneider, 7 FedEx boxes, 21 FedEx vans, 1 UPS container and 69 truck trailers.
ZSBDWSP9 B 1500 Mon,Tue,Thr F 0001, G 0400, C 1201 5/20 5 units 4x 6 units 1x averaged 6 JB Hunt, 3 Schneider, 29 FedEx boxes, sometimes up to 18 UPS containers and 1 Swift container. It usually had around 79 truck trailers and occasionally 6 UPS vans. Performance varied from two hours ahead of schedule to almost six hours late.
ZSTOWSP6 B 1300 exSun, F 0200, G 0600, C 1400 12/20 4 units 10x 5 units 1x 3 units 1x The most recognizable feature of this train is the mechanical reefers near the front. It averaged 6 mechanical reefers and 66 truck trailers. Container traffic was small averaging just 4 JB Hunt and a few Swift, CH Robinson, Schneider, or CSX containers. About half the trains had an average of 11 FedEx boxes while the other trains had none. Occasionally it might have quite a few UPS vans. Performance varied from three hours to 12 hours late.
ZSTOWSP7 B 0001, F 1000, G 1400, C 0001 6/20 4 units 5 3 units 1x averaged 28 JB Hunt, 8 Schneider, 1 or 2 Swift, 2 CSX, and 10 FedEx containers with 50 truck trailers and 5 FedEx vans.
ZSTOWSP8 B 1300 Sun, F 0200, G 0600, C 1400 3/20 4 units 3x averaged 40 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 1 Swift, 1 CSX container, with 5 FedEx vans, 1 UPS vans, 57 truck trailers.
BNSF Train Symbols
Bare Table Trains
Manifest Trains Westbound
Manifest Trains Eastbound
Q Trains Westbound
Q Trains Eastbound
Marine Stack Train Overview
Marine Stack Trains Westbound
Marine Stack Trains Eastbound
Z Trains Westbound