Various types of rolling stock are used for carriage of cargo by rail. Depending on the nature of cargo, vehicle body structure, loading and unloading methods and cargo safekeeping measures, there are boxcars, gondolas, flatcars, tank cars, dump cars, bunker cars and refrigerator cars.
Boxcar is used for carriage of cargo requiring protection against precipitation. Car body is a structure consisting of a frame with a floor, 4 walls and a roof. Cargo is loaded into and unloaded from general purpose boxcars through side doors.
Gondola is designed for carriage of cargo not requiring protection against precipitation. Since they are open-topped rail vehicles, it is possible to make cargo loading fully automated. There are gondolas with floor hatches for carriage of loose bulk cargo enabling automated unloading.
Hopper car is a type of gondola used for mass carriage of fertilizers, cement, grain and other loose bulk cargo. There are covered hoppers with loading hatches on the roof for protection against precipitation.
Flatcar is a rail vehicle used for carriage of machines, equipment, long cargo, containers, as well as loose bulk cargo not requiring protection against precipitation. Container flatcars have no sides and are equipped with special locks for securing high-capacity general purpose containers of any type.
Flatcars for carriage of timber have side walls and additional special racks preventing displacement of cargo.
Tank car is used for carriage of liquids, liquefied gases and powdered material.
Bunker car is in essence a boxcar or a covered hopper. The difference is that a bunker car has several containers mounted on a single frame that are used for carriage of specific loose bulk cargo (flour, petroleum bitumen, granulated material).
Dump car is a tipping wagon used for carriage and automated unloading of loose and lumpy bulk cargo.
Main specifications of a railway freight car are tare weight (weight of an empty car), capacity (the largest weight of cargo that can be carried in a car), body volume, area, length and other linear dimensions.