DRAG TO ROTATE
We transport a broad range of oversized or "dimensional" freight, including generators, transformers, boilers, structural steel, steel plates, aviation components, construction equipment, rolling machinery and large vehicles. The shipment of oversized freight requires careful planning and a "clearance" is issued over a route the freight can safely clear.
We use bulkhead flatcars and chain tie-down flatcars to carry steel products (drilling pipe, plate, beams) as well as military and machinery loads. Chain tie-down flatcars can be 60 feet, 68 feet, or 89 feet in length. The flatcars depicted hauling a wind blade here are 89 feet long.
Wind blades vary from 130 to 220 feet in length. BNSF typically places a wind blade across two flatcars. Three flatcars can carry two of them. It takes two side-loader or overhead cranes working together to load or unload the blade. A pivoting support structure holds one end of the blade and allows the cars to round curves without harming it.
Typically, you'll see wind energy components carried on a "unit train," which means a train carrying nothing else but that one type of freight. Depending on the blade length, a typical train will carry 30 to 35 blades. A typical windfarm of 50 turbines requires seven unit trains' worth of components.