Westward Z Trains

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 through Clovis (C), Gallup (G), Flagstaff (F) and Barstow (B) 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 4/20 2 units 3x 4 units 1x means that the train was seen and logged 4 times during the 20 day period. It had 2 units 3 times and 4 units once.

ZALTPHX7 4/20 2 units 3x 4 units 1x. One train was double stacks followed by spine cars. Most trains were short blocks of double stacks interspersed with short blocks of spine cars. Collectively, it averaged 43 JB Hunt, 6 Schneider, 3 Swift, 5 FedEx containers, and 10 UPS containers with 12 UPS vans, and 13 truck trailers. This train runs a few times per week. I've seen it most often on Sunday afternoons on the Flagstaff cam.

ZALTSBD7 C 1800 Sat Sun, G 0400, F 1000, B 1900 10/20 4 units 8x 3 units 2x. Most trains were double stacks followed by spine cars. Occasionally there would be a second block of double stacks on the rear. It averaged 51 JB Hunt, 3 Schneider, 3 Swift, 10 FedEx containers, with 4 FedEx vans, 8 UPS vans, and 36 truck trailers. Delays varied from five to 11 hours.

ZALTSBD9 C 1800 Tue-Thr, G 0300, F 0800, B 1700 9/20 4 units 8x 3 units 1x. Most trains were double stacks followed by spine cars. Occasionally there would be a short second block of double stacks with FedEx containers on the rear. It averaged 81 JB Hunt, 8 Schneider, 7 Swift, 17 FedEx containers. About half the time it had some FedEx vans and occasionally had some UPS vans. Truck trailers varied from 12 to 44. Performance varied from running up to four hours late to occasionally ran an hour ahead of schedule.

ZALTSTO9 C 1900 Mon-Fri, G 0500, F 1100, B 2100 10/20 4 units 10x averaged 50 JB Hunt, 12 Schneider, 3 Swift, FedEx boxes, varied from none to 14 and had 1 UPS van, once. Most trains were double stacks followed by spine cars. The train doesn't carry very many truck trailers, averaging just 5 per train. Performance varied from 2 and a half hours ahead of schedule to three hours late.

ZATGSBD7 C 0400, G 1500, F 2100, B 0900 9/20 3 units 8x 2 units 1x averaged 84 JB Hunt, 22 Schneider, 18 Swift, and 5 FedEx containers. The train doesn't carry very many truck trailers, averaging just 6 per train. Often the spine cars are mixed in with the double stacks and carry more containers than trailers. No UPS on these trains. Delays varied from one to over 24 hours.

ZLPKLAC7 C 1000 Sun, Mon, G 2000, F 0100, B 0800 7/20 5 units 6x 4 units 1x averaged 58 JB Hunt, 8 Schneider, 11 Swift, 8 UPS containers 5 FedEx containers. Marine containers averaged 20, although the counts varied from 3 to 38. Trailers averaged 26 truck trailers, 8 UPS vans, and 4 FedEx vans. Delays varied from two to almost 17 hours.

ZLPKLAC9 C 0900 Tue-Thr, G 1800, F 2200, B 0500  7/20 5 units 6x 3 units 1x 66 JB Hunt, 5 Schneider, 8 Swift, 7 UPS containers and 3 FedEx containers. Marine containers averaged 23, although the counts varied from 6 to 40. Trailers averaged 15 truck trailers, 5 UPS vans, 1 FedEx vans. Performance was better for section 9 and service was generally one to two hours ahead of schedule to just a few minute late.

ZLPKNBY7 C 0300, G 1000, F 1400, B 2200 6/20 3 units 4x 2 units 2x averaged 85 JB Hunt, 17 Schneider, 1 Swift, 8 FedEx boxes, 5 FedEx vans, 19 UPS containers 2 UPS vans, and 29 truck trailers. Schedule may have been cut to just two days a week. I'm still collecting data.

ZMEMLAC7 C 0500, G 1700, F 2200 B 0500 8/20 3 units 7x 4 units 1x averaged 103 JB Hunt, 16 Schneider, 7 Swift, 5 FedEx boxes, and 12 truck trailers. Most trains had around 50 40ft marine containers, but one train had none. On those trains with marine containers, the number of 53ft on 40ft boxes varied from 2 to 39. Delays varied from three to almost 16 hours.

ZNYCLAC9 C 0800, G 1700, F 2100, B 0500 12/20 5 units 10x 4 units 1x 3 units 1x averaged 56 JB Hunt, 5 Schneider, 2 Swift, 5 CSX, 12 UPS containers and an occasional FedEx container, with 30 truck trailers, 8 UPS vans, and an occasional FedEx van. Some trains had 1 or 2 40ft tanktainers. Only one train had 6 marine 40ft containers. Performance varied from 3 and a half hours ahead of schedule to almost three hours late.

ZWINPHX7 1130 Mon,Tue,Sat 8/20 2 units 5x 3 units 3x. All trains had spine cars, the number of double stacks varied from 46 wells to none. It averaged 29 JB Hunt, 3 UPS containers 3 FedEx boxes, maybe a few Schneider, and Swift containers, with 16 truck trailers 4 UPS vans, and maybe 1 FedEx van. Delays varied from two to almost 9 hours. Sometimes on Tuesday BNSF uses section 7 and sometimes section 9 depending on the priority of some of the loads.

ZWINPHX9 1130 Tue-Thr See ZWINPHX7 above. 5/20 2 units 5x averaged 20 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 2 Swift, 8 UPS containers and 1 or 2 FedEx boxes. The number of double stacks varied from 4 wells to 26. Trailers were less than section 7 at 6 truck trailers and 6 UPS vans. Performance varied from 2 hours ahead of schedule to 2 and a half  hours late. See the last sentence of ZWINPHX7.

ZWSPLAC7 C 1600, G 0200, F 0500, B 1500 8/10 4 units 6x 5 units 1x 3 units 1x. Most trains started with double stacks, but a few started with spine cars on the front. It averaged 42 UPS containers, 17 JB Hunt, maybe a few Schneider, and Swift containers, with 18 UPS vans, 23 truck trailers and occasionally a few FedEx vans. Occasionally a train would have 1 or 2 40ft or 20ft tanktainers. This train is generally late.

ZWSPLAC9 C 1700 Tue-Thr, G 0001, F 0400 B 1100 5/20 5 units 3x 4 units 2x. Most trains started with spine cars with UPS containers on double stacks at or near the rear. It averaged 11 JB Hunt, 44 UPS containers, no Schneider, or Swift containers, with 29 UPS vans, 18 truck trailers and occasionally a few FedEx vans. Performance was better for section 9 and service varied from up two and a half hours ahead of schedule down to right on time.

ZWSPNBY8  C 2300 Sat, Sun, G 0900, F 1300, B 2100 and C 0100 Thr, G 1100, F 1500, B 2300 12/20 4 units 11x 5 units 1x. All trains seemed to start with domestic double stacks (for setout at Stockton) and then have UPS traffic on the rear on both double stack and spine cars. It averaged 38 UPS containers 31 JB Hunt, 11 Schneider, 3 CSX, 2 or 3 Swift containers, with 9 UPS vans, and occasionally a few truck trailers. Performance varied from nearly on time to three hours late.

ZWSPNBY9 C 0900, G 1700, F 2100, B 0400 11/20 5 units 9x 4 units 2x. Trains started with either domestic double stacks or truck trailers (for setout at Stockton) but always had UPS traffic on the rear on both double stack and spine cars. It averaged 44 UPS containers 18 JB Hunt, possibly 4 Schneider, and 1 Swift containers with 22 truck trailers and 21 UPS vans. Performance was slightly better for section 9 and service varied from one and a half hours ahead of schedule to three hours late.

ZWSPPHX7 C 2200, G 0800, F 1201 14/20 4 units 12x 3 units 2x averaged 34 JB Hunt, 22 Schneider, 5 Swift, 18 UPS containers and 5 FedEx containers, with 35 truck trailers, 10 UPS vans, and possibly 1 FedEx van. In the later part of the train will be several double stack wells (3 to 16 wells) with just UPS and FedEx containers. Occasionally a train had 2 20ft tanktainers. This train is generally late.

ZWSPPHX9 C 1600 Tue-Thr, G 0100, F 0500 4/20 5 units 2x 4 units 2x averaged 19 JB Hunt, 13 Schneider, 4 Swift, 15 UPS containers and 2 FedEx boxes with 24 truck trailers 6 UPS vans, and 1 or 2 FedEx vans. Performance was better for section 9 and service varied from up two hours ahead of schedule down to just a few minutes late.

ZWSPSBD7 C 0700, G 1400, F 1800, B 0300 6/20 4 units 6x. Trains generally started with double stacks and had spine cars on the rear. It averaged 40 JB Hunt, 20 Schneider, 3 Swift, and maybe 1 or 2 FedEx boxes, or UPS vans with 50t 5 FedEx vans, 3 UPS vans. This train is generally late.

ZWSPSBD8 C 2000, G 0700, F 1100, B 1800 8/20 4 units 8x. Trains could be all spine cars, but most had 3 to 15 wells of double stacked containers somewhere in the middle. It averaged 8 JB Hunt, 12 FedEx boxes, and occasionally 3 UPS containers with 78 truck trailers 1 or 2 FedEx vans, and occasionally some UPS vans. Delays varied from a half hour to over six hours.

ZWSPSBD9 C 0900, G 1700, F 2100, B 0400 4/20 5 units 4x. Trains could be all spine cars, but half had around 12 wells of double stacked containers somewhere in the middle. It averaged 15 FedEx boxes, 3 JB Hunt, and occasionally a couple Schneider, and Swift containers with 106 truck trailers, 9 UPS vans, and maybe a few FedEx vans. Performance was better for section 9 and service varied from an hour ahead of schedule down to several hours late.

ZWSPSTO8 C 0200 Fri- Sun, G 1201, F 1600, B 0100 6/20 5 units 3x 4 units 3x averaged 23 JB Hunt, 8 FedEx boxes, 2 UPS containers with 73 truck trailers 4 UPS vans, and 2 FedEx vans. Generally performance is within two hours of the schedule.

ZWSPSTO9 1600 17/20 4 units 9x 5 units 8x. Most trains started with spine cars and over half ended with double stacked containers. It averaged 27 JB Hunt, 3 Schneider, 1 or 2 Swift, and 8 FedEx boxes with 70 truck trailers, 4 FedEx vans, and 8 UPS vans.

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
Unit Trains
Vehicle Trains
Z Trains Eastbound