Eastward Z Trains

Z trains haul a mixture of JB Hunt, Schneider, and Swift containers in double stack well cars along with many 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 some LAC trains is domestic 53ft containers sitting on top of marine containers or a mix in the same double stack car. When a description says some, it means that the train had some of these types of containers or trailers, but not enough to raise the average above 0.5. One thing that made things a little more complicated later in 2019 was that Amazon, ABF, Estes, KLLM, Marten, and Walmart all began using containers along with their triler fleet. I have tried to include this in the end of the year totals for each of the trains. The problem with averages is that the counts of these new containers may be too low to show up. Following each symbol train description is a pie chart showing the proportions of containers and 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 trucking companies ship their trailers via BNSF on the Transcon: ABF, Alliance Shippers, Amazon, Averitt Express, Best Solution, Bold, CDN, 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, TransWest, US Xpress, Vermont Rwy, Vision Express, Vitran, Walmart, Werner, Wheels, White Arrow, Xtra, and YRC (combination of Yellow and Roadway). Schneider has been selling off their old trailers as they moved to containers. Werner has been selling off older trailers as it acquires new trailers. So what may look like a Schneider or Werner trailer is actually in the fleet of another truck company. The more prolific are old Schneider trailers. There are also truck trailers with no logos, just registration numbers. I group these together in a category called plain white vans. KLLM merged with FFE this year and started using regrigerated containers. The containers are listed as KLLM-FFE. The trailers are still listed as KLLM.

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. Trailers and containers from FedEx, UPS, Amazon, ABF, Estes, KLLM, Marten, and Walmart have their own separate counts. In the following consist descriptions, when you see the word “with” I have shifted from container counts to trailer 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 City
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.

ZLACCHI7 B 0800 Thr-Sat, F 1900, G 0001, C 0900 The average train had 34 JB Hunt, 6 Schneider, 4 Swift, 2 CH Robinson, 5 UPS boxes, 2 FedEx boxes, 1 YRC box, with 2 UPS vans, 3 FedEx vans, 13 plain white vans, 2 ABF vans, 3 Alliance, 1 Amazon van, 1 Clipper, 2 Marten vans, 5 old Schneider vans, 4 Prime, 2 White Arrow, 7 YRC vans, 3 other truck company vans, occasionally some Walmart boxes, JKC, KLLM-FFE, or Radiant. The average train was 69-0:4537T 6596ft with a 0.69 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Delays averaged 7 hours and 43 minutes.

ZLACCHI7 pie chart

ZLACLPK9 B 1400 Tue, Wed, F 0200, G 0600, C 1330 The average train had 51 JB Hunt, 9 Schneider, 6 Swift, 27 UPS boxes, 7 FedEx boxes, 6 marine boxes, with 4 UPS vans, 6 FedEx vans, 3 plain white vans, 4 ABF vans, 2 Alliance, 1 Amazon van, 2 Marten vans, 3 Prime, 1 YRC van, 4 other truck company vans, 2 domestic containers on marine boxes, occasionally some KLLM or Walmart vans. The average train was 68-0:4574T 6439ft with a 0.71 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 5 units. Performance has been excellent averaging just six minutes late.

ZLACLPK9 pie chart

ZLACMEM7 B 0530 Tue-Sat, F 1630, G 0200, C 1030 It usually has quite a bit of marine traffic toward the front then mostly domestic containers. Some 53ft domestic containers will be on 40ft marine containers. It averaged 49 marine boxes, 89 JB Hunt, 29 Schneider, 8 Swift, 4 CH Robinson, 1 Matson 53, 2 FedEx boxes, with 3 plain white vans, 4 Marten vans, 3 Prime, 2 other truck company vans, 2 domestic containers on marine boxes, and occasionally some KLLM. The average train was 73-0:5234T 6950ft with a 0.75 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Delays averaged almost 7 hours.

ZLACMEM7 pie chart

ZLACNYC7 B 1500 Tue F 0130, G 0400, C 1201 See ZLACNYC9 for consist information. The average train was 76-0:5146T 7236ft with a 0.71 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Delays averaged 6 hours and 36 minutes. Delays averaged almost 9 hours. Pie chart after ZLACNYC9.

ZLACNYC9 B 1500 Wed-Sat F 0130 G 0400, C 1201 Combined ZLACNYC7 and 9 averaged 84 JB Hunt, 2 Swift, 1 Matson 53, 27 UPS boxes, 2 FedEx boxes, with 4 UPS vans, 5 FedEx vans, 7 plain white vans, 3 ABF vans, 5 Alliance, 7 Prime, 1 R&L, 1 White Arrow, 7 YRC vans, 5 other truck company vans, and occasionally some Matson marine boxes. Most trains had the trailers at the rear, but one had them on the front. The average train was 77-0:5269T 7363ft with a 0.72 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 5 units. Performance has been excellent averaging 18 minutes early.

ZLACNYC7 pie chart

ZLACWSP6 B 2200 Thur-Sat F 0800, G 1230, C 2100 The ZLACWSP trains are heavy with UPS traffic. It averaged 16 JB Hunt, 7 Schneider, 3 Swift, 1 Matson 53, 5 UPS boxes, 6 FedEx boxes, with 17 UPS vans, 2 FedEx vans, 24 plain white vans, 2 ABF vans, 3 Alliance, 1 Estes van, 1 Marten van, 13 old Schneider vans, 1 Prime, 1 R&L, 2 White Arrow, 10 YRC vans, 4 other truck company vans, 3 domestic containers on marine boxes, occasionally some CH Robinson or a JKC trailer. The average train was 74-0:4855T 7063ft with 0.69 tons per linear foot and had 4 units. Delays west of Clovis ranged between an hour and a half to 13 hours with 8 hours and 22 minutes being the averge.

ZLACWSP6 pie chart

ZLACWSP8 B 0800 Tue-Thr F 1830, G 2200, C 0700 This train did not operate from August through November, but begin again in December. It averaged 6 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 1 Swift, 23 UPS boxes, 1 FedEx box, with 37 UPS vans, 4 FedEx vans, 14 plain white vans, 3 ABF vans, 5 Alliance, 1 Clipper, 1 Estes van, 2 Marten vans, 8 old Schneider vans, 2 Prime, 3 R&L, 3 White Arrow, 2 YRC vans, 5 other truck company vans, occasionally some Matson 53, JKC, or Radiant trailers. The average train was 75-0:5267T 7218ft with a 0.73 tons per linear foot ratio and sometimes had 5, but more often 6 units. Average performance was excellent running 6 minutes ahead of schedule.

ZLACWSP8 pie chart

ZLACWSP9 B 1330 Tue-Sat F 2200, G 0100, C 0900 It operates an hour later Thur-Sat. It averaged 10 JB Hunt, 74 UPS boxes, 6 FedEx boxes, 2 YRC boxes, with 28 UPS vans, 6 FedEx vans, 7 plain white vans, 2 ABF vans, 1 Alliance, 1 Estes van, 1 old Schneider van, 3 R&L, 1 White Arrow, 3 YRC vans, 2 other truck company vans, occasionally some Schneider, Swift, Matson 53 boxes, JKC, or KLLM trailers. The average train was 77-0:5942T 7370ft with a 0.81 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 5, sometimes 6 units. Average performance was 2 hours and 12 minutes late.

ZLACWSP9 pie chart

ZNBYWSP7 B 1900 Fri-Sat, F 0500, G 0900, C 1700 The average train had 24 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 3 Swift, 1 Matson 53, 36 UPS boxes, 2 FedEx boxes, with 5 UPS vans, 3 plain white vans, 2 ABF vans, 1 Marten van, 1 Prime, 1 R&L, 2 YRC vans, 1 other truck company van, occasionally some FedEx vans or Estes vans. The average was 47-0:3136T 4462ft with a 0.70 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. The average performance was 8 hours and 42 minutes late.

ZNBYWSP7 pie chart

ZNBYWSP9 B 1630 Tue-Thr, F 0430, G 0730, C 1400 It averaged 14 JB Hunt, 3 Schneider, 2 Swift, 47 UPS boxes, 3 FedEx boxes, with 4 UPS vans, 1 plain white van, 1 Prime, 1 YRC van, 1 other truck company van, occasionally some CH Robinson, FedEx vans, ABF vans, Estes vans, or Marten vans. The average was 50-0:3401T 4750ft with a 0.72 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 5 or 6 units. Performance on ZNBYWSP9 was good with average delays of just 51 minutes.

ZNBYWSP9 pie chart

ZPHXWSP7 F 1600 Sat-Mon, G 2000, C 0400 and ZPHXWSP9 same schedule Tue,Wed, Fri. It usually has double stack containers on the front and trailers on the rear. Together they averaged 22 JB Hunt, 12 Schneider, 5 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 18 UPS boxes, 7 FedEx boxes, 1 Estes box, 1 YRC box, with 8 UPS vans, 10 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 3 Alliance, 2 Estes vans, 1 Go2, 5 YRC vans, 1 other truck company van, occasionally some FedEx vans, Clipper, old Schneider vans, Radiant, or Stevens vans. The average train was 54-0:3746T 5167ft with a 0.73 tons per linear foot ratio. The number of units fluctuated from 3 to 9 as extra units are generally sent east from Phoenix on this train. Performance was fair running just one hour 14 minutes late for section 7 and 53 minutes late for section 9.

ZNBYWSP7 & 9 pie chart

ZSBDALT9 B 1800 exTue, F 0500, G 0900, C 1900 ZSBDALT7 runs on Tuesday. ZSBDALT9 runs 8 hours earlier on Saturday and Sunday. ZSBDALT9 usually has double stack containers on the front and trailers on the rear. Sometimes there is a short double stack section near the rear. It averaged 83 JB Hunt, 11 Schneider, 20 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 17 FedEx boxes, with 2 UPS vans, 2 FedEx vans, 3 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 5 Amazon vans, 1 Estes van, 1 Go2, 3 KLLM, 1 Marten van, 1 Prime, 3 Stevens, 1 Walmart van, 20 YRC vans, 3 other truck company vans, occasionally some Matson 53, Estes boxes, Marten boxes, Alliance, KLLM-FFE, or R&L. The average train was 80-0:5459T 7627ft with a 0.72 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Performance varied from one to nine hours late. Performance for section 9 was fair running 2 hours and 5 minutes late and worse for section 7 running 7 hours and 37 minutes late.

ZSBDALT9 pie chart

ZSBDATG7 B 2200 exSun, F 1100, G 1500, C 0001 The average train had 136 JB Hunt, 17 Schneider, 24 Swift, 1 Matson 53, 15 FedEx boxes, with 3 FedEx vans, 1 ABF van, 4 Amazon vans, 2 Estes vans, 1 Prime, 1 other truck company van, occasionally some CH Robinson, plain white vans, Alliance, KLLM-FFE, KLLM, Stevens, or Walmart vans. The average train was 79-0:5442T 7582ft at 0.72 tons per linear foot and usually had 4 units. Performance was fair over the western part of the system running 2 hours and 39 minutes late.

ZSBDATG7 pie chart

ZSBDWSP6 B 0100 Mon-Fri, F 1130, G 1530, C 0200 It averaged 79-0:5209T 7556ft with a 0.69 tons per linear foot ratio and had 4 units. The average train had 87 JB Hunt, 18 Schneider, 13 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 1 NFI, 8 FedEx boxes, with 2 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 7 Alliance, 10 Amazon vans, 1 Estes van, 1 KLLM, 1 Marten van, 1 old Schneider van, 4 Prime, 6 YRC vans, 1 other truck company van, occasionally some Matson 53, UPS vans, FedEx vans, Go2, KLLM-FFE, or Walmart vans. Performance average was 8 hours 43 minutes late.

ZSBDWSP6 pie chart

ZSBDWSP8 B 0830 Tue,Wed F 1800, G 2200, C 0630 It averaged 76-0:5318T 7266ft with a 0.73 tons per linear foot ratio and sometimes had 4 or more often 5 units. The average train had 56 JB Hunt, 10 Schneider, 5 Swift, 1 NFI, 33 UPS boxes, 1 FedEx box, 1 Amazon box, 1 Estes box, with 26 UPS vans, 5 FedEx vans, 2 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 2 Amazon vans, 1 Estes van, 1 KLLM, 1 old Schneider van, 5 YRC vans, 1 other truck company van, occasionally some YRC boxes, Alliance, Go2, or Marten vans. Performance average was 2 hours and 25 minutes late.

ZSBDWSP8 pie chart

ZSBDWSP9 B 1700 F 0300, G 0700, C 1600 It operates 2 hours earlier Mon-Wed. It averaged 78-0:5079T 7405ftt with a 0.69 tons per linear foot ratio and often had 5 units. The average train had 13 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 1 NFI, 11 UPS boxes, 28 FedEx boxes, 1 Estes box, 1 Marten box, with 6 UPS vans, 7 FedEx vans, 12 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 15 Alliance, 6 Amazon vans, 7 Estes vans, 2 Go2, 1 KLLM, 1 Marten van, 2 old Schneider vans, 3 Prime, 8 YRC vans, 5 other truck company vans, occasionally some YRC boxes, or Radiant trailers. Performance was excellent for section 9 running just eight minutes late on average.

ZSBDWSP9 pie chart

ZSTOWSP6 B 1400 exSun, F 0030, G 0430, C 1400 Six out of the eight trains observed had an average of 7 mechanical reefers right behind the units. The rest of the train averaged 13 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 1 NFI, 11 UPS boxes, 28 FedEx boxes, 1 Estes box, 1 Marten box, with 6 UPS vans, 7 FedEx vans, 12 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 15 Alliance, 6 Amazon vans, 7 Estes vans, 2 Go2, 1 KLLM, 1 Marten van, 2 old Schneider vans, 3 Prime, 8 YRC vans, 5 other truck company vans, occasionally some YRC boxes, or Radiant vans. The average train was 67-0:4882T 6328ft with a 0.77 tons per linear foot ratio and had 4 units. Delays averaged 9 hours and 50 minutes.

ZSTOWSP6 pie chart

ZSTOWSP7 B 0001 Thur-Sun, F 1000, G 1400, C 0001 It averaged 38 JB Hunt, 8 Schneider, 1 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 2 CSX, 12 FedEx boxes, with 3 UPS vans, 2 FedEx vans, 10 plain white vans, 5 ABF vans, 2 Alliance, 3 Estes vans, 1 Marten van, 2 old Schneider vans, 2 R&L, 1 Radiant, 5 White Arrow, 13 YRC vans, 3 other truck company vans, occasionally some Matson 53, Estes boxes, Clipper, JKC, Prime, or Stevens vans. The average train was 60-0:4160T 5730ft with a 0.73 tons per linear foot ratio and had 4 units. Delays averaged 8 hours and 53 minutes.

ZSTOWSP7 pie chart

ZSTOWSP8 B 1400 Sun, F 0100, G 0550, C 1430 The average train was 66-0:4865T 6313ft with a 0.77 tons per linear foot ratio usually with 4 units. About two thirds of the trains had an average of 6 mechanical reefers right behind the units. The rest of the train averaged 49 JB Hunt, 12 Schneider, 5 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 3 CSX, 2 Matson 53, 2 FedEx boxes, with 2 FedEx vans, 14 plain white vans, 1 ABF van, 3 Alliance, 1 Clipper, 3 Estes vans, 2 Go2, 1 JKC, 1 KLLM-FFE, 1 Marten van, 6 old Schneider vans, 3 Prime, 1 Radiant, 2 Stevens, 1 White Arrow, 11 YRC vans, 2 other truck company vans, occasionally some NFI, Marten boxes, KLLM, or R&L vans. Delays averaged 6 hours and 38 minutes.

ZSTOWSP8 pie chart

Revised 1-26-2020 with data collected in 2019

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