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, DM World, 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 most 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 (even though it may be silver or aluminum) vans.

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. 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
RIC Richmond, CA
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.

ZALTPHX7 C 1900, G 0600, F 1201 Most trains were alternating short blocks of double stacks and short blocks of spine cars. It averaged 32 JB Hunt, 16 Schneider, 5 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 1 Matson 53ft, 7 FedEx containers, and 11 UPS containers with 15 UPS trailers, 3 plain white, 1 ABF, 1 Estes, 8 YRC and 2 other truck company trailers. This train runs a few times per week. I've seen it most often on Sunday afternoons on the Flagstaff cam. The average train was 54-0:3671T 5194ft with a 0.71 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 2 units and rarely had marine containers. The train was generally about five hours late.

ZALTSBD7 C 1800 Sat Sun, G 0400, F 0930, B 1630 Most trains were double stacks followed by spine cars. Occasionally there would be a second block of double stacks on the rear. It averaged 80 JB Hunt, 13 Schneider, 8 Swift, 14 FedEx containers, with 3 FedEx vans, 7 UPS vans, 1 plain white, 1 ABF, 2 Alliance, 3 Amazon, 1 KLLM, 2 Marten, 3 Stevens, 20 YRC and 1 other truck company trailer. The average train was 74-0:5187T 7005ft with a 0.74 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Occasionally the train was ahead of schedule, but the average was 3 hours and 20 minutes late.

ZALTSBD9 C 1830 Tue-Thr, G 0330, F 0900, B 1630 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 98 JB Hunt, 12 Schneider, 15 Swift, 15 FedEx containers with 2 FedEx vans, 1 plain white, 1 Alliance, 4 Amazon, 1 KLLM, 3 Marten, 3 Stevens, 4 YRC and possibly one or two old Schneider or Prime trailers. The average train was 70-0:5040T 6702ft with a 0.75 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Average performance was excellent running 16 minutes ahead of schedule.

ZALTSTO9 C 2100 Mon-Fri, G 0500, F 1100, B 2000 It averaged 43 JB Hunt, 10 Schneider, 4 Swift, 4 UPS containers with 1 plain white, 1 Amazon, 2 Marten, 2 Stevens, 1 YRC and possibly one or two FedEx containers, ABF or other truck company trailers. Most trains were double stacks followed by spine cars. The train doesn't carry very many truck trailers, averaging just 6 (mostly refrigerator) per train. The average train was 46-0:3251T 4381ft at 0.74 tons per linear foot and usually had 3 units. Performance was excellent averaging one hour ahead of schedule.

ZATGSBD7 C 0300, G 1500, F 2030, B 0900 It averaged 113 JB Hunt, 25 Schneider, 20 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 1 Matson 53ft, 11 FedEx containers, with 1 KLLM, 1 Stevens and 1 Prime trailer. It could have a CSX container or a trailers from Marten or another truck company. The train doesn't carry very many truck trailers, averaging just 4 per train. Often the spine cars are mixed in with the double stacks and carry more containers than trailers. No UPS on these trains. The average train was 75-0:5740T 7110ft with a 0.81 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 units. Delays averaged 8 and a half hours.

ZLPKLAC7 C 1000 Fri-Mon, G 2000, F 0100, B 0700 The average train was 72-0:5409T 6864ft at 0.81 tons per linear foot and usually had 5 units. ZLPKLAC7 and ZLPKLAC9 averaged 66 JB Hunt, 7 Schneider, 15 Swift, 8 UPS containers, and 5 FedEx containers. Marine containers varied from none to 47. Trailers averaged 5 UPS vans, 3 FedEx vans, 3 plain white vans, 1 ABF, 2 Alliance, 4 Marten, 1 Prime, 1 YRC, possibly an R&L, and 4 trailers from other truck companies. Delays averaged 5 and a half hours.

ZLPKLAC9 C 0900 Tue-Thr, G 1800, F 2130, B 0500 See entry above for consist information. The average train was 62-0:5169T 5939ft with a 0.87 tons per linear foot ratio and had 4 or 5 units. Performance was better for section 9 and service was excellent with the average train running 50 minutes ahead of schedule.

ZLPKNBY7 C 0300 Fri & Sun, G 1000, F 1400, B 2200 It averaged 59 JB Hunt, 13 Schneider, 3 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 1 Matson 53ft, and 8 FedEx containers, with 3 FedEx vans, 4 plain white, 1 ABF, 1 Marten, 9 Prime, 2 Stevens, and 5 YRC trailers. It might also have a couple Alliance, KLLM, or R&L trailers.  The average North Bay block of 23 UPS containers and 5 UPS vans was generally on the rear. It usually does not have marine containers. The average train was 59-0:4044T 5584ft at 0.72 tons per linear foot and had 3 units. Delays averaged 3 and a half hours.

ZLPKRIC7 C 0230 Wed, G 0930, F 1330, B 2130  It usually has marine containers near the front. The number of wells of marine containers varied from 16 to 54 with an averge of 37 wells per train. For domestic traffic set out at Stockton, it averaged 49 JB Hunt, 11 Schneider, 2 Swift, 1 Matson 53ft, the occasional CH Robinson, 5 FedEx containers, with 2 FedEx vans, 2 UPS vans, 2 plain white, 1 Alliance, 2 Marten, 3 Prime, and occasional ABF, Clipper, KLLM, Radiant, and YRC truck trailers. The average train was 60-0:4711T 5499ft with a 0.86 tons per linear foot ratio and had 3 units. Delays averaged almost 6 hours.

ZMEMLAC7 C 0530, G 1700, F 2300 B 0830 It averaged 115 JB Hunt, 10 Schneider, 4 Swift, 1 Matson 53ft, 3 CH Robinson, 5 FedEx containers, with 5 Marten, 4 Prime, and an occasional KLLM or plain white truck trailer. The average train was 85-0:6867T 7992ft at 0.86 tons per linear foot and had 3 units. Most trains had around 50 40ft marine containers. The number of 53ft on 40ft boxes varied from 5 to 33 with the average at around 16 per train. Delays varied from one to over 24 hours on occasion. The average delay was 9 and a half hours.

ZNYCLAC9 C 0800, G 1700, F 2100, B 0600 The schedule varies some during the week. The train out of Clovis on Sunday runs about two hours later. In early 2019, it occasionally was all spine cars with mostly domestic trailers and some containers. Usually there are around 15 wells for double stack containers. It averaged 23 JB Hunt, 11 UPS, 2 FedEx, an occasional Swift container, with 1 FedEx van, 10 UPS vans, 11 plain white, 4 ABF, 4 Alliance, 1 KLLM, 2 JKC, 2 Marten, 4 old Schneider, 2 Prime, 3 Stevens, 5 White Arrow, 9 YRC, occasional Amazon, Clipper, Go2, Marten, R&L, Radiant, and 4 trailers from other truck companies. The average train was 55-0:3779T 5259ft with a 0.72 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Some trains had 1 or 2 40ft tanktainers. Only one train had 6 marine 40ft containers. Performance was good with the average delay at just 1 hour and 19 minutes.

ZWINPHX7 F 1130 Mon,Tue,Sat Is a collection of Phoexnix traffic accumlated at Winslow and train make up depends on how the crews put the train together. Sometimes the double stacks are on the headend with trailers on the rear, sometimes the trailers are on the headend with double stacks on the rear, and at other times there will be two blocks of double stacks split among the trailers. The average was 21 JB Hunt, 6 Schneider, 2 Swift, 4 FedEx, 3 UPS, occasional Matson 53ft and CH Robinson containers, with 6 UPS trailers, 1 plain white, 1 ABF, 4 YRC, occasianal Alliance, Estes, Go2, and a trailer from another truck company. The average train was 32-0:2226T 3074ft at 0.72 tons per linear foot and usually had 2 units. The average delay was 2 hours and 38 minutes.

ZWINPHX9 F 1130 Wed-Fri See ZWINPHX7 above. Performance varied from an hour ahead of schedule to an hour late with the average delay at just 18 minutes.

ZWSPLAC7 C 1500, G 0100, F 0400, B 1230 Most trains started with double stacks, but a few started with spine cars on the front. It averaged 15 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 1 Swift, 1 CH Robinson, 1 CSX, 1 FedEx, and 34 UPS containers, with 11 UPS vans, 1 FedEx, 8 plain white, 2 ABF, 4 Alliance, 1 Estes, 1 JKC, 1 Marten, 1 old Schneider, 2 Prime, 3 R&L, 2 White Arrow, 3 YRC, occasional Amazon, KLLM, Stevens, and 4 trailers from other truck companies. Occasionally a train would have 1 or 2 40ft or 20ft tanktainers. The average delay was 6 hours and 16 minutes.

ZWSPLAC9 C 1430 Tue-Thr, G 2300, F 0300 B 1100 Most trains started with spine cars and had UPS containers on double stacks at or near the rear. It averaged 39 UPS containers, 12 JB Hunt, 2 FedEx, occasional Schneider and Swift containers, with 18 UPS vans, 5 plain white, 1 ABF, 1 JKC, 2 Prime, 1 R&L, 2 White Arrow, 1 YRC, occasional FedEx, Alliance, Clipper, Estes, Marten, and 2 trailers from other truck companies. The average train was 51-0:3759T 4905ft at 0.77 tons per linear foot and usually had 4 units. Average performance was excellent running 8 minutes ahead of schedule.

ZWSPNBY8 C 2300 Sat, Sun, G 0900, F 1230, B 2000 and ZWSPNBY7 C 0830 as needed on Mon or Thr, G 1500, F 1900, B 0300  The ZWSPNBY8 often has a block for Stockton on the headend and then all of the UPS traffic for North Bay on the rear. The Stockton block averaged 34 JB Hunt, 9 Schneider, 3 Swift, 2 CSX, 2 Matson 53ft, 1 CH Robinson, 1 FedEx container, with 2 FedEx vans, 6 plain white, 2 ABF, 1 Alliance,  1 old Schneider, 1 Prime, 1 R&L, 1 White Arrow, 3 YRC and a few Clipper, Estes, Go2, JKC, KLLM, Marten, Radiant trailers. On days it had a Stockton block the UPS traffic averaged 25 UPS containers, and 8 UPS vans. On the days it was exclusively UPS traffic, it averaged 65 UPS containers with 24 UPS vans and 4 plain white vans and 2 other truck trailers. Collectively they averaged 54-0:4027T 5189ft with a 0.78 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. Performance on ZWSPNBY8 had average delays of 1 hour 38 minutes, while the average performance on section 7 was 7 hours and 36 minutes late.

ZWSPNBY9 C 0900 Tue-Thur, G 1630, F 2100, B 0400 The train has a Stockton block on the headend so may begin with double stacks or pigs. The average traffic for Stockton was 2 JB Hunt, 5 FedEx containers, with 6 FedEx trailers, and 28 other domestic trailers. The UPS traffic averaged 53 UPS containers and 24 UPS vans. There may be some Premier, Swift, Xtra, plain white trailers along with old Pacer containers or plain white containers in the North Bay block. The average train was 64-0:4329T 6080ft at 0.71 tons per linear foot and usually had 4 but sometaimes 5 units. Performance was slightly better for section 9 and delays averaged one hour and 15 minutes.

ZWSPPHX7 C 2130 Fri-Sun, G 0730, F 1230 and ZWSPPHX9 C 1600 Tue-Thr, G 0100, F 0430 It averaged 30 JB Hunt, 11 Schneider, 3 Swift, 11 UPS, 6 FedEx, 1 CH Robinson, an occasional Matson 53ft container, with 1 FedEx van, 11 UPS vans, 17 plain white, 2 ABF, 2 Alliance, 1 Clipper, 4 Estes, 3 Go2, 1 R&L, 1 Radiant, 1 White Arrow, 9 YRC, and 4 trailers from other truck companies. The average train was 62-0:4429T 5921ft with a 0.75 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 3 or 4 units. The average delay for section 7 was 3 hours and 47 minutes and section 9 was 49 minutes.

ZWSPSBD7 C 0400 Wed-Thr, G 1201, F 1600, B 0100 It averaged 87 JB Hunt, 40 Schneider, 10 Swift, 1 Matson 53ft, an occasional FedEx container, with  24 FedEx vans, 6 plain white, 1 ABF, 3 Alliance, 2 Amazon, 1 Estes, 2 Go2,  1 Marten, 6 old Schneider, 1 Prime, 6 YRC, possibly a KLLM or other truck company trailer. The average train was 70-0:4747T 6697ft at 0.70 tons per linear foot and had 3 or more often 4 units. The average delay was 7 hours and 50 minutes.

ZWSPSBD8 C 2030, G 0600, F 1000, B 1800 Double stack traffic varied from none to 45 wells with the average at 18 wells per train. Traffic for ZWSPSBD8 and 9 averaged 19 FedEx, 9 JB Hunt, 1 Schneider, an occasional Swift, CH Robinson, or Matson 53ft a container, with 4 FedEx vans, 10 plain white, 3 ABF, 12 Alliance, 3 Amazon, 2 Estes, 3 KLLM, 4 Marten, 5 old Schneider, 8 Prime, 1 Radiant, 15 YRC, maybe some Clipper, Go2, R&L, or Stevens trailers, and 3 trailers from other truck companies. The average train was 68-0:4411T 6477ft with a 0.68 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. The average delay was 2 hours and 38 minutes.

ZWSPSBD9 C 0830 Fri-Sun G 1600, F 2030, B 0400 Trains could be all spine cars, but half had around 12 wells of double stacked containers somewhere in the middle. See ZWSPSBD8 for average consist. The average train was 68-0:4533T 6506ft at 0.70 tons per linear foot and usually had 4 units. The average delay was 2 hours and 26 minutes.

ZWSPSTO8 C 0900 Fri-Sun, G 1500, F 2000, B 0330 It averaged 51 JB Hunt, 6 Schneider, 1 Swift, 3 FedEx, 1 NFI an occasional CH Robinson, CSX, or Matson 53ft container with 16 plain white vans, 4 UPS vans, 4 FedEx, 2 ABF, 5 Alliance, 1 Clipper, 1 Go2, 6 JKC, 1 Marten, 2 Prime, 1 R&L, 2 White Arrow, 6 YRC, maybe an Estes or KLLM trailer, and 3 other truck company trailers. The average train was 65-0:4462T 6190ft with a 0.72 tons per linear foot ratio and usually had 4 units. The average delay was over 9 hours.

ZWSPSTO9 C 0400 Sat-Thur G 1201, F 1600, B 2330 It averaged 19 JB Hunt, 2 Schneider, 1 Swift, 10 FedEx, 1 NFI an occasional UPS, CH Robinson, CSX, or Matson 53ft container with 24 plain white vans, 5 UPS vans, 7 FedEx, 4 ABF, 5 Alliance, 1 Clipper, 1 Estes, 2 Go2, 2 JKC, 1 KLLM, 4 Marten, 7 old Schneider, 6 Prime, 1 R&L, 1 Radiant, 3 White Arrow, 9 YRC, maybe an Amazon  trailer, and 4 other truck company trailers. The average train was 69-0:4544T 6581ft at 0.69 tons per linear foot and usually had 4 units.  The average delay was 57 minutes.

The following is a tally of the train symbols that have run at least 10 times during the first part of 2019.
14 ZALTPHX7
36 ZALTSBD7
57 ZALTSBD9
54 ZALTSTO9
97 ZATGSBD7
18 ZCHISBD6
29 ZLPKLAC7
53 ZLPKLAC9
32 ZLPKNBY7
16 ZLPKRIC7
73 ZMEMLAC7
91 ZNYCLAC9
28 ZWINPHX7
11 ZWINPHX9
58 ZWSPLAC7
53 ZWSPLAC9
23 ZWSPNBY7
40 ZWSPNBY8
55 ZWSPNBY9
36 ZWSPPHX7
54 ZWSPPHX9
34 ZWSPSBD7
114 ZWSPSBD8
22 ZWSPSBD9
24 ZWSPSTO8
70 ZWSPSTO9

Revised 7-9-2019 with data collected Jan to June 2019

BNSF Train Symbols
Bare Table Trains
Manifest Trains Westbound
Manifest Trains Eastbound
Q Trains Westbound
Q Trains Eastbound
Marine Stack Trains
Unit Trains
Vehicle Trains
Z Trains Eastbound