Identify Train Cars

There are a variety of different rail car types. Each one has its own unique style and purpose. 


A large, metal, and enclosed car filled with multiple "racks" that are used to create different levels for transporting finished vehicles.  

Autotrack Image


An enclosed railroad freight car with sliding doors on each side. They can carry any type of good like coal, fruits and vegetables, and livestock. They are especially beneficially when it comes to transporting things in bulk.  

Boxcar Image

Rear end car housing crew quarters and offices. Rarely seen past the 1980’s due to computerization replacing some train roles.
Caboose Image


Built with a centerbeam in order to create greater stability for product transportation. These usually transport bundled goods like lumber, fence posts, and other building supplies.

Centerbeam Image

Covered Hopper

These train cars carry free-flowing, dry bulk commodities such as wheat, soda ash, rice, and sand. The top of the car is removed so the product can be loaded and then it is covered for travel. When it is time to unload, doors at the bottom of the car are opened and gravity moves the product out. 
Covered Hopper Image
Flat Car

Flat cars are even, open platforms with no sides. They come in different lengths and are great for moving oversized or oddly shaped commodities like pipe, rail, steel plate, tractors, tanks, and logs.
Flat Car Image

Gondolas have low sides and an open top. They are good for carrying heavy, bulk items such as scrap metal, steel, copper, iron, coal and ore.
Gondola Image
Maintenance Vehicles

Various unique specialty railroad cars that are used in the repair and construction or railroad tracks.

Maintenance Vehicles Image
Open Hopper

These are similar to Covered Hoppers, except they don't have a removable cover. There is no cover at all. This is why they are better for carrying free-flowing freight which doesn’t need to be protected from weather such as coal, coke, ores, and gravel.
Open Hopper Image

Passenger Car

The first passenger cars were built in the early 1800s and have developed in building material over the course of time. These car types are meant for moving passengers from one location to another. The inside structure varies, but each car contains large windows for passengers to look out of. 

Passenger Car Image
Rotary Snowplow

This car has a circular set of blades at the front of it, which is used to cut through snow that builds up on the train tracks. It is most often seen in regions with heavy winters.
Rotary Snowplow Image
Tank Car

A large metal tank meant for carrying liquid commodities like chemicals, corn syrup, ethanol, molasses, water, oil, gas, and diesel fuel.
Tank Car Image